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N.S.A. Devises Radio Pathway Into Computers nytimes.com
42 points by nealyoung  51 minutes ago   12 comments top 8
todayiamme 27 minutes ago 2 replies      
I do understand that it is now the status quo to disavow everything the NSA is, but foreign intelligence gathering is their mission and releasing these details simply doesn't help the cause of fixing the NSA's less savoury incursions.

While arguably any foreign intelligence agency of note isn't going to be caught off guard by these leaks, leaking these details does offer political ammunition to the very people who stand to gain from the expansion of the NSA's mission into civilian data gathering. It helps to make the case that the leaks aren't such a good thing after all and are compromising the intelligence gathering apparatus of the US of A. Add a bit of spin and you can quickly use this to get back to business as usual and people will actually support them as now it'll become a matter of identity instead of what it should be - a surgical exploration of a cancer afflicting a nation state.

staunch 31 minutes ago 0 replies      
This sounds like a non-issue to me. Any person on this site could create little USB devices for stealing data. It's nothing special or new. I thought I was going to hear that they're light years beyond Tempest[1] or something. Feels good to finally hear an NSA story that doesn't depress me.

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tempest_(codename)

rl3 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
"In most cases, the radio frequency hardware must be physically inserted by a spy, a manufacturer or an unwitting user." [emphasis added]
Theodores 21 minutes ago 0 replies      
vxxzy 26 minutes ago 1 reply      
Transmit as far as "EIGHT Miles". Does anyone know what type of power this would take? I imagine if they used a less noisy frequency combined with sensitive receiving equipment, it would not take much. I used to play with CB radios which has a cap at 4W, with a good antenna, one could transmit 7+ miles in good situations.
__pThrow 1 minute ago 0 replies      
I have to admit I was disappointed these seem to require radio transmitters be added to the device. Was sort of hoping to discover there were little antennas built into Intel processors or nvidia video cards.

However, I now know more about what DARPA's littlest flying robots will be doing, especially the ones already described as little more than chips with wings.

danso 30 minutes ago 0 replies      
Given that the NSA's mission is to do surveillance against foreign targets ("There is no evidence that the N.S.A. has implanted its software or used its radio frequency technology inside the United States.")...the techniques described here actually seem to be in line of what you imagine the NSA is supposed to be doing. At least it's surveillance that requires them to have a physical targeted presence, rather than just drinking from the telecommunications firehose.
oceanplexian 29 minutes ago 0 replies      
> The technology, which has been used by the agency since at least 2008, relies on a covert channel of radio waves that can be transmitted from tiny circuit boards and USB cards

Obviously if someone has physical access to a machine it can be compromised. Replace "USB Cards" with "USB WiFi stick" and you've achieved the same thing.

This is just FUD. Machines that are air-gapped from the Internet with tight physical security are as secure as ever.

The Periodic Table of Rust Types mearie.org
26 points by lifthrasiir  1 hour ago   1 comment top
carterschonwald 27 minutes ago 0 replies      
I think this a great way of presenting type features that interact! props to the author for cooking it up
Public speaking is tough speaking.io
196 points by FredericJ  6 hours ago   70 comments top 32
nostromo 4 hours ago 15 replies      
Here's two pieces of public speaking advice nobody will tell you about, but actually work.

1) Beta-blockers. Ask your doctor.

2) Alcohol. Obviously, be careful with this. :) But having a drink really will take the edge off. This works better when giving a toast as a best man than it does at work. It could probably work at a conference too.

Other than this, for a big talk or pitch, I just practice until I'm blue in the face, then I practice some more. If you experience a fight or flight response, your brain cannot think straight, but you can fall back on something that has become rote long enough for you to regain your footing.

After 30 seconds or so, your body will start to calm down, you just have to make it through that 30 seconds without pulling a Michael Bay. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tqRyzTvNKE

Ask HN: I was thinking the other day, someone should make an Oculus Rift app that is just a giant conference room of people staring at you. People with stage fright could use this to practice public speaking and hopefully improve.

beloch 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Everyone probably has some good advice for public speaking. Here's my #1 piece:

Slow the fuck down!

You don't "win" at public speaking by getting more words in. In fact, you'll likely lose your audience by going a mile a minute. It makes perfect sense, but it's still hard to do. You can practice your talk in private a hundred times and it'll be X minutes. You can present your talk to colleagues and co-workers and it'll be X minutes. Then, when you get in front of a room full of strangers, the adrenaline will hit, you'll go into manic-caffeine-squirrel mode, and you'll blast it out in X/2 minutes! Some people deliberately make their talks too long, knowing they'll finish early if they don't. This is a mistake. They're just cramming too much material into the time allowed and will shell-shock their audience. Slow the fuck down!

The method by which you slow the fuck down is going to be somewhat personal. Different things work for different people. Personally, I do a lot better if I've gotten to know even just a few people in the room a tiny bit. If I can get a few people (hopefully in the front row) into the colleague-zone, I can focus on them during the talk and ignore the strangers.

reuven 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I have been speaking professionally for a number of years now. In a given week, I'm probably speaking 2-4 full days (minus lunch and breaks), teaching various programming languages and technologies. I also give talks at conferences and user group meetings.

I remember very, very well when I had to give a talk oh-so-many years ago, while doing a student internship at HP. I flubbed it big time, and left the room saying to myself and anyone who would listen that I disliked public speaking, and was bad at it.

I'm not quite sure when things changed, but I think that it had a lot to do with my attitude. Instead of worrying about whether people would like me or believe me, I instead concentrated on trying to teach people something they didn't already know, and have a good time in the process.

If I'm enjoying myself while speaking, then the odds are good that the people in the audience are enjoying themselves, too.

If I've learned something interesting, then the odds are also good that the people in the audience will find it interesting, too, and will be glad that I'm sharing it with them.

Again, I'm not sure when my attitude changed, but when I get up in front of an audience now, I feel like I'm there to have a good time. Of course, I don't want to flub things, and there are times when I worry about that more than others. But for the most part, it's a matter of thinking, "Hey, everyone here has the same goal -- to enjoy themselves and learn something."

As others have written, your enjoyment will be enhanced significantly if you prepare. I'd even say to over-prepare. You probably need to know twice as much as you will actually say in your talk, so that you can speak naturally and reasonably about the subject. Try to outline your talk as a story, with a beginning, middle, and end. In technical talks, the story will often be something like, "Here's a problem. Here's a solution. Here are some examples of the solution in use. Here's where the solution fails. Questions?"

Don't worry about your slides too much. Yes, they should be high contrast. Yes, they should be easy to read. But I think that people worry way way way too much about colors, fonts, and images, and not enough about the actual SPEAKING. You want people to be engaged with what you're saying, not with what's on your slides... and that's going to happen if you have interesting things to say.

Above all, be yourself. There are oh-so-many examples (in real life, and also in movies and on TV) where people are told that they should open with a joke, and so they tell a ridiculous joke that no one finds funny, including the presenter. If you're naturally funny, or are willing to have people not laugh at your jokes, then go for it. If you're a serious kind of person, then be serious. (Although it's always better if you can be somewhat silly, in my book.)

bane 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm a so-so to "good" public speaker. I used to be a terrible public speaker. I'll probably never be a great orator or Steve Jobs, but I'm pretty happy with my presentation skills. In group settings, I'm often the one chosen to give the public presentation.

Some things that improved me:

1) My university undergrad CS program required a semester of public speaking. Everybody hated it. It's probably one of the top 3 most important classes I took. If you're in a school that doesn't require it, take it as an elective.

2) I had a teaching job for a few years. Getting points across day in and day out, and trying to drag a class along of people at very different learning speeds teaches you very quickly how to project and enunciate so people can hear you well. Watching the faces of, and talking to, the people in the back rows becomes a very important speaking tool.

3) To deal with stage fright, I learned to mentally "not care" about giving the talk. It's hard to explain, it doesn't mean "not caring about doing a good job", it just means to adopt a viewpoint of detached apathy. Before I learned how to do this, even small stumbles would send me into a panic state which only made it worse ending with an avalanche of stutters and tied tongues. Detached apathy turns those little stumbles into such unimportant things that I don't even know they happened until I listen to a recording of my talk or see myself in a presentation.

4) Practice your speech. Because it's important to look up every once in a while in order to project. Practicing your speech helps you do that, instead of looking down into your note cards or your script. I don't practice it relentlessly like Steve Jobs or President Obama. 2 or 3 runs through is usually good enough for most of my purposes. But it helps you keep your focus on not caring.

5) Practice giving speeches. I haven't done it, but I've heard lots of good things about Oration societies like Toastmasters. In my case I got plenty of practice while teaching. But for those people who don't have that option, this is a great option. Nothing gets you used to the routine of giving speeches like giving speeches.

hawkharris 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Public speaking became much easier to me once I recognized that all good speeches follow a concrete formula.

It's kind of like writing. You wouldn't pick up a pen and start scribbling a lengthy essay without considering its structure.

Similarly, effective public speakers follow a pattern not necessarily the same formula, but a formula. For example, Bill Clinton likes to...

1) Begin with a personal, visual anecdote about a specific person or small group. (e.g. A family walking miles to collect water.)

2) Relate the small example to broader theme. (e.g. Poverty is a big problem.)

3) Weaving that broader concept into the theme of the speech.

Another thing to remember is that while speeches share a structure with writing, they are not written articles. The biggest difference, I think, is that people are not capable of processing as much information.

While repeating yourself in a written piece is often bad form, most public speakers repeat key phrases to keep the audience focused. Listening is usually harder than sitting down to read.

saurik 1 hour ago 1 reply      
To some extent the point I want to make I'd similar to the one made by reuven elsewhere in this thread, but I think it is still different (and maybe shorter? we'll see ;P) enough to still post. (OK, after writing, this failed at my goal of being shorter ;P.)

So, I also do a lot of conference speaking, albeit nowhere near as much as reuven. I remember in high school, public speaking was terrifying. By the end of college, I was giving one of the graduation speeches.

The difference was not me becoming better at making arguments or telling stories or being prepared or building slides or really anything about what I said on stage: the difference is that I felt at home there.

In essence, I had the fear of public speaking that many, if not most, people have. This fear is mostly about people watching you and judging you. You are concerned about where they are looking and what you are doing: it paralyzes you.

It had very little, however, to do with what you are doing in front of everyone: you could be on stage being told "eat breakfast as you would on a normal day" or simply a lunch meeting where you are standing due to lack of chairs while everyone else is sitting.

I don't feel, therefore, like helping people present is the solution. I will say that it might try to ease the person's anxiety enough to consider doing it once, but that isn't why they are afraid: I am not afraid of bungee jumping because I think I'm going to die due to the cord breaking, I'm afraid of bungee jumping because even looking at a photograph taken from a high-up location makes me curl into a ball.

These fears can be so bad that they aren't obviously fixable (phobia-level fears can be like that). In my case, I likely have acrophobia (heights), but as something of a "class clown" when I was much much younger, I can't ever claim to have had glossophobia (public speaking). My fear was mild, and I tackled it.

I want to be very clear, though, that there is a difference between "preparation" and "lack of fear": if you told me to go stand on stage right now in front of a thousand people, I'd be happy to do that. I would be willing to try to entertain them. I might fail, but I don't mind anymore.

I might thereby recommend more doing something structured that tales away all of the "things you can do wrong" variables entirely before bothering with trying to prepare those away: take an acting class. You are told exactly what to say, you have a director guiding your movements, and on the show day a perfect performance can be identical to the previous day. You don't have to worry if what you are saying sounds stupid: you have no choice in what to say.

(That said, I wouldn't "recommend" it strongly, as I think a lot of these shortcuts in hindsight by people who have defeated something others find hard are missing the point of what made it work for them: that you probably just need to be doing it, constantly, for long enough, to make it easy. This is similar to the "monad tutorial fallacy" in my mind.)

Then, when your fear of being in front of people is gone, maybe the preparation isn't even that big of a deal: if you are comfortable, the audience will be comfortable, and you can "get away with" a lot more on stage.

I mean, preparation is great, but "public speaking is tough" is not because "writing slides is tough" or "answering questions is tough", it's simply tough because "public anything is tough"... you answer questions every day in the hallway: you don't need more preparation to do that on stage, you just need less fear (which again: isn't easy).

mebassett 8 minutes ago 1 reply      
Say someone is a mediocre-to-decent public speaker already. How does one "level up" to be a really great public speaker? I've thought about a speech coach or class, but I don't know anyone who has had any success with this who could recommend where to find a good one.
pmiller2 24 minutes ago 0 replies      
Between grad school (teaching, seminar talks, etc) and other occasions, I've spoken in front of groups of 3-300 people hundreds of times. I have no idea if I'm all that good at it, but at least I'm comfortable with it. :-)

The biggest trick for me is realizing that talking in front of a group is different from talking to one person, but talking in front of a small group is not that different from talking in front of a medium or large group. Under 5 or so people is still pretty much an intimate/conversational atmosphere in my experience, but going from 5 or 10 up to 50, 100, or 300 is pretty much all the same. The only real difference is the amount and type of projection equipment involved.

Depending on the specific scenario, there are other things I try to keep in mind (e.g. I found that between 0.5 and 1.5 slides per minute worked well for a seminar talk in grad school), but abstracting away the size of the audience in my mind is the one that's paid me the biggest returns in reduced anxiety. Now if I just had a way to make sure the A/V equipment always worked, I could make a crapload of money. ;)

bedhead 57 minutes ago 1 reply      
I had never spoken publicly, as in a featured speaker in front of a large gathering of strangers. I had spoken in front of everyone at my old company (80 people) but that was the closest I came to public speaking, and since I knew everyone it didn't count. I remember freshman year of high school having my stomach in knots when teachers would call on me. I just had that nervous personality. Want to know how nervous I'd get in public with everyone's attention on me? I almost fainted at my wedding - at the altar. The priest had to cut the ceremony in half to accommodate me. To this day people make fun of me for it (I feel bad for my wife).

A couple months ago, I surprisingly got asked to be a speaker at a pretty large and prestigious conference in town. It was at a large venue with over 1,000 attendees, some of whom are important to impress for various reasons. It was a great opportunity so I accepted, knowing that this could be a problem.

Anyway, I rehearsed my 10 minute speech ad nauseum, I could do it in my sleep. Every little last verbal tic, joke, everything. I knew I'd still be nervous. I wanted to be so good that I could do it on autopilot and hopefully be more confident. I got on stage, lights shining brightly, and took a seat as the host read a brief introduction about me. While he was doing this, I was so nervous that I thought I was either going to vomit or faint, or some horrible combination of the two. I was literally telling myself not to puke over and over again. My stomach was tossing and my head was spinning...I could barely breathe.

He finishes his intro and I start my talk, visibly nervous. Then a funny thing happened. About 20 seconds in, something clicked and I just thought to myself, "Why are you nervous? You know this stuff cold. You got this." And wouldn't you know it, from there on out I killed it. I dunno, it was weird, I instantly became as relaxed as I am with my friends and delivered a great speech. I had tons of great jokes, kept everyone really engaged, and I think even delivered an interesting idea to the audience. By the time it was over I was actually disappointed it was over since I was having so much fun. I got tons of superlative-filled compliments afterwards and was really in shock about it all.

I dont know what the moral is. Just have fun I guess. Know what you're talking about and the rest will sort itself out.

Theodores 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Just wing it. Seriously.

Why is it that so few schools teach children how to speak in public?

It is not difficult, all you need is a debating society.

I am fortunate enough to have gone to a school where the debating society was the thing to do. Even on a cold winter with snow outside two hundred or so of the thousand at the school would show up, of their own accord and without anyone telling they had to go. To be voted by your peers onto the committee for the debating society was the ultimate in status. Our debating society made public speaking a fun thing to do.

As well as being able to propose/oppose a motion from the stage with a self-prepared speech it was also possible to learn how to listen, ask questions from the floor and respond to points made.

So, when I left school, I had a head start. I had spoken in front of a crowd on two hundred or so occasions from a very safe sandbox. In my adult life this experience has been invaluable. I know about what happens if one is not totally prepared. I know what happens if one is over prepared - i.e. reading instead of talking. I know about posture and how to make meaningful eye contact with a sea of faces. However, most importantly, I knew that public speaking was a desirable thing to do, a privilege.

If anyone reading this has kids and their kids are not involved in a school debating society, think about it. Get together with the school and a few teachers and sell them the idea of a debating society. Get someone charismatic - a head teacher who has to present in front of all the kids - to make the debating society the most important thing he/she does. Your local posh school will have a debating society, visit them, learn how they do it and steal their procedures and organisational structure.

Then, if you are lucky and the school debating society kicks off and becomes the thing to do, your child should grow up to be a darned good public speaker. What they will learn from that will help them no end. If they also end up knowing a subject inside and out at some stage of their adult life they should be able to literally wing it without having to use any of the silly suggestions presented on this thread (betablockers - you must be kidding!!!).

EliRivers 4 hours ago 0 replies      
As someone in your audience, I beg you, please do not tell me what you're going to tell me, then tell me, then tell me what you just told me.
ctdonath 4 hours ago 1 reply      
As an introvert, I have no problem talking in front of a large group. I thrive on one-on-one conversations where each person has an opportunity to talk thru long complex interesting thoughts without interruption. Speaking in front of a large group is exactly that: I get to talk at length on a favorite topic, at whatever level of detail I choose, to someone who is interested in what I'm saying and will not interrupt; that I'm doing this with 10,000 individuals at once is just being efficient about it.

Helps that I've decided that if I'm going to be wrong, I'm going to be definitively wrong.

cmbaus 34 minutes ago 0 replies      
Here are couple ideas I've written on the topic: http://baus.net/i-don%27t-like-public-speaking/

I did quite a bit of public speaking in the past couple years and it gets easier over time. I think the best advice is prepare, prepare, prepare.

chops 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I've given a handful of talks at miscellaneous user groups ranging from 5 minute lightning demos to one way-too-long-but-there-is-too-much-to-cover-in-45-minutes talk about Erlang types (I felt bad it was so long).

While I'm the last guy to walk up to a stranger and strike up a conversation, and I break out in cold sweats preparing to cold-call prospects for my business, I've always had this thing about public performing, whether it be speaking, playing and instrument, or even (gasp) singing.

I'm not sure of the psychology of it all, but it feels like the pressure of presenting, combined with a strong fear of being viewed a failure gives way to a certain comfort zone in presenting. And once up there for a minute or two, I notice that I quickly find myself firing on all cylinders (probably from the adrenaline), and then everything from then on becomes quite natural for me (even if my natural presentation style comes across a little neurotic).

Anyway, that's my anecdotal contribution to the public speaking discussion.

re_todd 51 minutes ago 0 replies      
I went to a doctor, and he gave me beta blockers, which helped a lot.

Another thing that helped is reading forums like this where many people admit how nervous they are. In speech class, everyone seemed to do relatively well, so I was under the impression that I was the only person in the world that gets nervous during a speech. Just knowing that other people get nervous has helped me handle it better.

You can also take your contacts out or glasses off so you cannot see people clearly, which also helps a little.

I've also noticed that my anxiety attacks usually happen before the speech, not usually during it, and they only last a few minutes. Knowing that they will not last forever has also helped me.

bigd 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I've a talk in 30'.

Another suggestion should be "do not read suggestions on how to do talks right before giving one".

after a life in academia, what I usually suggest is:like your topic, keep it easy, and reharse, reharse, reharse.

wturner 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
The easiest way to speak publicly is to actually believe in what you're doing and talking about. The audience then becomes kind of like an omnipresent pressure that keeps you going.

If you aren't 'locked into' what your talking about then nothing will save you. I know from personal experience.

I also heard a talk that if you imagine the audience as 'prey' such as small rabbits or chickens then it becomes easier as it takes power away from the flight or fight aspect.

yodsanklai 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I used to be really scared when i had to give "important" talks, especially in English which isn't my native language. I was so anxious that I couldn't even work the days before. I remember my first professional talk. My mouth was so dry that talking was difficult. (tip to beginners: take a bottle of water).

Interestingly, I had much less problems when I was presenting somebody else's work.

The thing that really helped me was benzodiazepines (e.g. Xanax). I took them a few days before until the day of the talk and I felt much much better. I know these drugs get a bad press, but in my case, they really helped. The side effets is that they tend to make you sleepy, but it didn't really affected me.

Now, I'm certainly not a great speaker, but I don't have any problems with public speaking.

AhtiK 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Exhale as deeply as possible and keep it this way as long as you can. After that breathing restores with first few rapid big inhales. Restarting your breathing this way is also restarting your brain in a way so the thinking becomes calm. Works every time.

Another tip is to eat 1-2 bananas half an hour before the event and maybe a glass of fresh orange juice. Banana works as a natural beta blocker reducing anxiety. While on stage, plain water, no juices..

alan_cx 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I assume there are different reasons for people fearing public speaking. But, FWIW, my thing is to really and fully know the subject you are talking about. For me, the nervousness comes from the fear of being found out in some way. So, I find that if I know my subject, Im quite happy to waffle on to who ever wants to listen, but if I know or think the audience might know more than me and be able to some how show me up to be some sort of fraud, Im a bag of nerves.

I dont know if that works for anyone else, but my theory is that the nerves come for the fear of somehow looking a fool, and that becomes less likely the more you know about what you are talking about.

chaz 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Plant your feet and square your shoulders to the audience. Walking around is ok, too. But slouching and shifting your weight from left to right can hurt your confidence as well as hurt the way your confidence is projected. You'll develop your own more natural style over time.
julienchastang 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Public speaking has caused a great deal of distress, panic, and anxiety for me in the past. To remedy this situation, I joined a local Toastmasters club. They are located literally all over the world, and there is probably one in your area. I cannot say enough good things about Toastmasters. Through frequent, repeated public speaking exposure, over time, you become desensitized so you don't feel as panicked. And your speaking skills improve as you have to give speeches on a regular basis. I completely disagree with comments that suggest this problem can be solved through drugs or alcohol. I had ONE stiff drink before an important talk, and I completely hated the feeling while I was speaking.
Codhisattva 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Practice at Toastmasters meetings.
anildigital 5 hours ago 0 replies      
city41 3 hours ago 0 replies      
blatant plug: I'm working on a website aimed at increasing social skills and one "track" of the site will be for improving public speaking -- http://metamorf.us
gumby 1 hour ago 0 replies      
To me there are different scales of public speaking or presenting.

I actually have no problem presenting to 500 people (the largest audience I've had): I just talk, and try to make some eye contact. There are always a few friendly faces.

Presenting to up to a dozen people is no problem for me: I can adapt (speed up / slow down, skip over stuff, dive deep, repeat, whatever) depending on how the people react.

But there's an excluded valley of somewhere between one and three dozen. I feel weird just presenting as I would to 500 people, yet it's too big to get the intimate preso treatment. When I have presented to a group this size it has almost always fallen flat.

eflowers 3 hours ago 0 replies      
What I've learned is that 20 minutes in, you're hour is up.
crimsonalucard 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The only way a phobia can be conquered, if it can be conquered at all, is through repeated exposure.
ismaelc 2 hours ago 0 replies      
If you have something exciting to talk about, public speaking is not such a chore (a joy in fact). The challenge is having content that's easy to make exciting.

If that's not possible for you, then try to get excited of the fact that you're out there to excite the hell out of something mundane. Surprise your audience.

Being in that state of mind alone should knock out the jitters.

janogonzalez 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Shameless plug, here it is my own advice regarding conference speaking: http://janogonzalez.com/2013/12/02/conference-speaking-how-t...
Kerrick 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Another great resource: We Are All Awesome! http://weareallaweso.me/
gre 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Tell them what you are about to tell them, tell them, tell them what you told them.
Show HN: Funded.io rapid prototype funded.io
93 points by bottompair  4 hours ago   35 comments top 13
bottompair 4 hours ago 5 replies      
Struggling with maintaining 25 versions of financial projection spreadsheets for a tiered SKU based SaaS startup. I decided to spin this up as quickly as possible (and learn a little AngularJS along the way).

The result - after ~30 hours it's usable enough to show. Obviously needs more flexibility around the variety of revenue models and expense categories. But really it's just for rough estimates at this point.

davidbanham 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I have spent more hours than I'm comfortable contemplating slaving over Excel spreadsheets creating projections. I went into one funding round with perfect eyesight and came out needing reading glasses.

This tool is fantastic.

I'd love to be able to modify it for non-MRR companies though. What license are you releasing the code under?

toast76 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Love it. The only issue I have is the SKU slider is a little bit "fuzzy". Would be great to actually be able to plug some real sales estimates.

Also the slider seems to be capped out at some really low number (like 30 new customers a month or something?)... not sure if I'm doing something wrong?

immad 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Would be cool if you could export to Excel. That way you could lay the fundamentals in place here and do custom things offline.
labaraka 4 hours ago 2 replies      
This is absolutely fantastic. I would pay real money for something similar tailored to product sales model (vs recurring SaaS).
ilaksh 2 hours ago 1 reply      
That's awesome. Can you make one thats for 'lifestyle' businesses, i.e. bootstrapped startups with a sustainable model?

For starters, with my business model, the monthly expenses depend on the number of customers directly. Every time I get a customer, I automatically deploy a VM. And I am charging them a few more bucks than the VM costs, so my revenue is directly tied to the number of customers also.

Maybe I just need a spreadsheet. But really its pretty simple. I plan to launch something that I can support alone. Within a month or so, I need to have enough profit to hire a guy from oDesk to help with support.

The other part is charging for support, which I plan to make separate from the servers. So you can pay as low as $5 if you want minimal support, up to $500 if you are a business and want to prepay for up to half a day of consulting each month.

So what I want is a spreadsheet that I can change that has a projection chart off to the side that is automatically connected to the spreadsheet.

With template spreadsheets/charts that I can configure.

Maybe use something like Google Spreadsheets or http://stoic.com/formula/index.html

pla3rhat3r 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Very cool! Add some secure features and exporting tools and you're onto something.
shekyboy 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Awesome work!Export to Excel please
narzero 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Fantastic tool! Like aktary, I'd love to see a save, print and export options.
tomkinson 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I will use this extensively tonight(spend about 1-2 hrs beta testing) and come back with suggestions/comments and input, IF you can add ways to save the data and/or export to CSV/excel after. On a brief look, it looks great, well done.
ing33k 2 hours ago 0 replies      
cool , please add export to excel or google docs..
aktary 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Impressive! Are you going to develop this further for the community? I'd love to use it and be able to save, print, export, etc...
martialmartian 49 minutes ago 0 replies      
for those who can't use excel...
Net neutrality is half-dead: Court strikes down FCCs anti-blocking rules arstechnica.com
268 points by shawndumas  10 hours ago   99 comments top 18
mjmahone17 8 hours ago 1 reply      
What the court is saying is that, if the FCC refuses to classify broadband providers as common carriers, then, because they neither receive the same protections as common carriers nor have the same responsibilities, they can't be regulated as if they were common carriers.

The FCC could change their rules to treat broadband suppliers as common carriers. However, that's something that big-name broadband providers don't seem to want, as it would reduce their freedom of operations.

saalweachter 9 hours ago 4 replies      
Note that the DC Court of Appeals is the one that the Filibuster Crisis was all about. According to the Wikipedia, it still(!) has three vacancies, and the Senate Republicans have spent the last ~N months preventing any of the Obama administrations nominees from being confirmed to the Court.

These things matter.

sologoub 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Definitions from US Code Title 47:

"(1) Advanced communications servicesThe term advanced communications services means(A) interconnected VoIP service;(B) non-interconnected VoIP service;(C) electronic messaging service; and(D) interoperable video conferencing service."

"(11) Common carrierThe term common carrier or carrier means any person engaged as a common carrier for hire, in interstate or foreign communication by wire or radio or interstate or foreign radio transmission of energy, except where reference is made to common carriers not subject to this chapter; but a person engaged in radio broadcasting shall not, insofar as such person is so engaged, be deemed a common carrier."

"(24) Information serviceThe term information service means the offering of a capability for generating, acquiring, storing, transforming, processing, retrieving, utilizing, or making available information via telecommunications, and includes electronic publishing, but does not include any use of any such capability for the management, control, or operation of a telecommunications system or the management of a telecommunications service."

I'm not a lawyer, but consider myself well grounded in tech and telecom, but reading these definitions I'm kind of at a loss. In common law, my understanding is that a "common carrier" is someone that makes transport services available to the public. These can be physical, such as shipping a crate, or technological (telecom) in nature. By that inference, transporting packets of information is essentially same as transporting normal packages.

Unfortunately, the "by wire or radio or interstate or foreign radio transmission of energy" is so period-specific that one could argue that it doesn't apply and the (24) Information Services is so broad and vague, it could practically be applied to anything.

One interesting bit, which makes me think that there is hope, is the definition of advanced communications, that include both VoIP and messaging services. Sadly, their definitions are not that broad...

gdubs 8 hours ago 1 reply      
My knowledge of Anti-Trust laws dates back to elementary school, but how is it legal for the companies that maintain the infrastructure to be in the content game as well, when other content providers can't compete on favorable pricing for bandwidth?
jacobheller 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Here's the full text of the opinion on Casetext: https://www.casetext.com/case/verizon-v-fcc-3

We'll be getting some leading net neutrality scholars and lawyers to annotate the doc, so check back later today for interesting, in-depth analysis along-side the key passages in the case.

declan 8 hours ago 1 reply      
This is a duplicate of another thread started an hour earlier: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7057495
adricnet 8 hours ago 0 replies      
So, the court agrees with many others that the FCC needs to re-label cable companies as communication common carriers before regulating them as common carriers. I guess that's good?

Is it a difficult thing technically or only politically for the FCC to change their minds / admit they did this wrong in the first place?

What is the downside of treating the cable networks as communications media?

There are some thoughts on that here, though note the source: http://www.attpublicpolicy.com/government-policy/the-fcc-hav... .

pasbesoin 8 hours ago 2 replies      
It is obvious that they are, de facto, common carriers.

Give up the lobbyist payola, reclassify them, and introduce some real competition to my now more frequent than annual Crapcast price bumps (or significant humps, as it were).

(And in my case, this is primarily for Internet, although basic cable comes along as a quasi-freebie -- it costs, but then a discount on the combined package largely or totally negates that cost.)

Otherwise, you can bet I'm not voting for either major party, next time around.

As a consumer, I find that the only way to defeat this bullshit, is to stop paying for it. If I had an alternative to Crapcast in my neighborhood, I'd take it. (I don't count AT&T, because for a lonnngggg time they refused to deploy high speed Internet here, and because their policies and behaviour are just as bad. As well, they've personally screwed me in a prior location, as I've commented before.)

wahsd 5 hours ago 0 replies      
What I wish would happen is that organizational forces were focused on breaking up ISP monopolies over the pipes. Essentially, building a firewall between infrastructure and content. It would create a market...remember that thing we think controls America's destiny...that would lead to faster bandwidth and also ISPs that offer free, open, and protected services.
tomrod 5 hours ago 0 replies      
The economist in me is happy, as this allows for greater investment incentives on the part of ISPs.

The FLOSS advocate in me is sad, as this is a compromise that I don't want to see go away.

shmerl 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Why can't they start classifying ISPs like common carriers?
the_watcher 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Does anyone have a good solution for this argument? I find myself wildly sympathetic to both sides of it. Is there any way to decentralize internet access in the future (something like what the utopian ideal of solar powering your home would be for electricity)?
VladRussian2 5 hours ago 0 replies      
>In its ruling against the FCCs rules, the court said that such restrictions are not needed in part because consumers have a choice in which ISP they use.

in theory vs. in practice

angersock 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Anyone who is interested in a really good overview of 20th century telco policy should read The Master Switch by Tim Wu (http://www.amazon.com/The-Master-Switch-Information-Empires/...).

It goes over the transition from telegraph to telephone to internet, talks about the rise of media conglomerates, and basically explains how we're in the mess we're in today. Quite an enjoyable read, especially when learning about the differences between old and new styles of monopolies.

unethical_ban 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Am I experiencing deja-vu? I fee like many of these comments (and their responses!) are exact reposts from earlier submissions about this very same topic.

  "The court is saying the FCC needs to reclassify providers"    "The Republicans are holding up nominations"    
so on so forth.

kolbe 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Intuitively, I would have thought that this would be horrible news for content providers/distributors, and great news for wireless carriers. However, today, Google, Facebook, Amazon &etc are flying, while Verizon and AT&T are falling.

Does anyone in the industry know what this is all about, and what importance this decision really has on the future of mobile?

nitrobeast 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Quote from the linked article, "(net neutrality rules) forbid ISPs from blocking services or charging content providers for access to the network." But that is confusing. ISPs are already charging content providers for access to the network. Netflix and Google need to pay for their bandwidth.

Actually, web neutrality means the ISPs should treat all data in their network equally.

pearjuice 7 hours ago 1 reply      
How can something or someone be half-dead? Life is a binary thing, you are either YES (1) alive or NO (0) dead. I fail to comprehend how any respectable (tech) journalist would call something "half-dead". It implies there is a state between being alive and death when this is clearly not the case.
PSD to HTML is Dead teamtreehouse.com
212 points by nickpettit  8 hours ago   135 comments top 42
wpietri 8 hours ago 5 replies      
And thank goodness. If anybody knows where the grave is, I'd like to go piss on it.

As somebody who long ago did print design, I totally get why designers would want pixel-perfect control. It is awesome, but you get that in print because you are physically manufacturing an object and sending it to people. The web was device independent from the get-go. It wasn't your paper anymore; it was their screens. There were a couple of designers I came close to beating to death with their own Pantone books because they refused to get that.

Sadly, the desire for pixel perfection led to trying to force every single user on the planet to conform to the designers' weaknesses and fetish for control. For example, every Flash intro in the world. Or all of the goddamn fixed-width "experiences" that were either too wide for what users wanted their window to be or so narrow that acres of space were wasted. An approach that surely looked fine in presentation to executives, but much less well for actual users.

The great improvements in CSS have definitely helped. But I think the major changes have been the the explosion of form factors (small laptops, giant desktop monitors, tablets, phones) and the rise of a generation of designers for whom the web is a native medium. The old paradigm got harder to force at the same time there were plenty of people who were thinking in a new way.

Planck wrote, "A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it." Design, like science, proceeds one funeral at a time. So goodbye, PSD2HTML, and let's quietly put a stake through its heart so it never returns.

mgkimsal 0 minutes ago 0 replies      
Yay. I'm surprised it was ever a thing, really. Maybe not surprised, but pissed off. We've all got our horror stories - I got a PSD with > 200 layers (4 layers for 4 rounded corners on a button - WTF). It was just crazy.
reuven 8 hours ago 6 replies      
It drives me totally batty to work on projects in which the designer assumes that their only responsibility is to provide a PSD file, which the developers will then turn into HTML and CSS.

I want to work not just with designers, but with Web designers, who intimately understand the workings of HTML, CSS, some JavaScript, and the implications for different browser sizes and versions. Web designers speak HTML/CSS natively, taking these limitations and issues into account when they're creating their designs. And if something needs to change, they can change the HTML/CSS that was created. If the designer only knows how to work with Photoshop, every change to the site requires a great deal of additional work and communication.

I've sometimes remarked that a designer who uses Photoshop, but who doesn't know HTML and CSS, is like a photographer who refuses to actually touch the camera, and instead tells someone else how to aim, focus, and shoot. (And yes, I'm aware that TV and movies work this way; the analogy is far from perfect.) I want to work with someone who lives and breathes Web technologies, not who sees them as just another type of output. I'm glad that this blogger made this point, and has indicated that while Photoshop might once have been acceptable, it no longer is.

IgorPartola 8 hours ago 6 replies      
Rant to follow:

So I have done a fair share of PSD to HTML, PSD to WordPress theme, PSD to application web GUI, etc. rewrites. I generally have no problem with the concept of this, and got quite good at this. However, there are some real pet peeves that keep coming up in this workflow, that are really driving me crazy. If you are a designer working with a developer, and you happen to read this, at least please consider it the next time you produce a PSD:

First, PSD's that assume text length. For example, if you have three call-out boxes with a title and some text to follow, don't assume that the title will always be one line and the text will always be the same length. Instead, figure out what this will all look like when you do have very uneven amounts of text. Do we center it vertically? Do we abbreviate it?

Second, PSD's that don't assume a responsive design. Sure, working directly in the medium (HTML/CSS) would solve this, but you can still provide some direction here. Tell me how the columns should be laid out. Which parts of the site should expand/collapse with size, which parts can be hidden, etc.

Third, and this goes without saying, but clean up the PSD layer names and groupings. Layer 1, Layer 2, etc. is not a great convention for this.

Fourth, show me the unusual cases. I know the clients always want to focus on the prominent pages, like the home page, the product listing, etc. Those are important, give me those. But also give me what a form submission error looks like. Or what a 404 page looks like. Or an empty shopping cart. Or pagination. Or a table that's wider than the viewport would normally allow.

Fifth, consistency. It sucks for the developer, and I'd argue it sucks for the user, to have every page use a slightly different set of CSS rules for headers, paragraphs, lists, etc. Best case scenario here is to give me a style guide I can trust. I know it's two different documents you now need to maintain, but honestly this is the biggest help you can give me.

Sixth, show or describe to me the interactions and workflows. A simple shopping cart can become a giant minefield of interpretations of what the design is supposed to convey.

Seventh, and this is a bit meta, but don't walk away from the design before a single line of HTML/CSS is written. This is bad because there will be questions about interactions, etc. If first I have to email your boss's boss to try to see I can ask you a simple question, the process is broken and I will not recommend working with you again.

Eighth, if you do promise to deliver sample HTML/CSS, for the love of good, do this well. I have recently had the misfortune of having HTML/CSS/JavaScript delivered to me for a large site redesign by a big name web design agency. I was very excited about this, especially since these guys said they would use Bootstrap as the foundation for this so that we would have all the benefits of that framework built right in. I got the files, opened them and OMG. It did include Bootstrap, but in name only. After that declaration, it instead included a completely custom column system that was just slightly incompatible in sizes with Bootstrap's. It also used none of the same class names even where it made sense, etc. Needless to say, I had to re-write all of their CSS from scratch, and re-adjust lots of the Bootstrap variables to accommodate their column system.


Great designers are worth their weight in gold. The above highlights that the waterfall process of design -> develop does not work. Instead it should be design -> develop/design/develop. If you cannot step outside of Photoshop that's fine, but if you want to be efficient, you must know the final medium, which is the web.

dredmorbius 50 minutes ago 0 replies      
As a mostly back-end guy (systems, network, databases) who's dabbled in HTML and CSS, somewhat increasingly over the past few months (latest results below), I've taken a highly pragmatic approach to how I prefer sites styled:

Consider the screen as a sheet of paper on which you can 1) communicate your message 2) provide a UI, and 3) apply your branding. Modest amounts of logo / artwork, color palette, and styling touches go a long way. Other than that, it's a rubber sheet. There are no fixed dimensions.

Start with a basic HTML5 framework. body, header, article, aside, footer.

Put minimal elements above the fold. Your header, logo, and some basic navigation. Emphasize body text and / or UI.

You almost always want to design around the text. That's your payload. For interactive tools, controls layout should be clear, consistent, logical, and most of all provide enough space to meaningfully navigate options. For that last: size-constrained modal dialogs or their equivalents (pop-up menus, etc.) are strongly deprecated. Unless the user needs to see other content while performing input, that dialog should be front, center, and the principle screen element.

CSS gives you a whole slew of tools: special selectors, including :hover, :active, :first-child, :last-child, :nth-child, :nth-of-type, shadows, columns, and more. No, MSIE legacy doesn't support many of these. Fuck'em.

Stick to light backgrounds and dark fonts, with few exceptions. http://www.contrastrebellion.com/ is strongly recommended.

Think of your page in either ems or percentages, and almost certainly ems (scaled to your principle body font).

Provide a minimum page margin of around 2ems for desktops. For mobile, enough to keep text from flush with the edge of the screen, 0.25em typically. Don't crowd your text. I accomplish this by setting a max width (usually 45-60ems depending on context), and a 2em left/right internal padding. This provides a comfortable reading width but preserves margins in narrow displays.

Scale fonts in pt, or use relative/absolute sizing based on the user's preferences. I recommend "medium" for body text.

Other than image elements and logos, avoid use of px. Never mix px and ems (say, for line heights).

Rather than a traditional sidebar, use CSS column elements for your asides, which are then full-screen width. @media queries can toggle between 3, 2, and 1 column views.

If you've got to float elements, float right of text rather than left. This is less disruptive to reading. 0.5 - 1em padding or margins is usually appropriate.

For long lists, I'm growing increasingly partial to "li { display: inline;} or inline-block (the latter allows trick such as ":first-letter" but fails for wrapping.

Make modest use of dynamic elements. I'm generally not a fan of flyouts, automatically opening menus, etc., and they're among the first elements I nuke when modifying sites. Color shifts to indicate links and other dynamic elements, however, can be useful. Google's "Grid" is a notable exception to this rule.

Don't fuck with scrollbars. Allow the user environment defaults. Yes, Google+, I'm talking to you.

DO NOT USE FIXED HEADERS OR FOOTERS. Far too many displays are height-constrained, and robbing another 10-25% of the display with elements which cannot be scrolled offscreen is an insult. If you've got to fix something, put it in a margin. Do not fix ANYTHING for mobile displays.

CSS modification: Metafilter lite http://www.reddit.com/r/dredmorbius/comments/1v8fl5/css_adve...)

bbx 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm currently redesigning a backend interface, and it's the 1st time since I've started my Front-End career (7 years ago) that I'm not using Photoshop at all. I'm just using Bootstrap, Sublime Text, and Chrome.

For many projects of course, it won't be sufficient: clients want (and probably need) a stunning Photoshop mockup to provide feedback and boost their self-assurance.

But if you combine a simple CSS framework (even if it's just for a grid system), Chrome's inspector, a selection of Google Fonts, and some sense of "flat" aesthetics, you can come up with a more than decent, and sometimes amazing, design. Plus, it takes 70% less time, especially considering it's usable right now.

37signals mentioned this "skipping Photoshop" attitude in 2008 [1], but I never quite managed to put it into practice until recently.

[1] http://37signals.com/svn/posts/1061-why-we-skip-photoshop

tn13 25 minutes ago 0 replies      
Thanks goodness. My life was hell when I was working for an Indian outsourcing giant where they made web application like an assembly line.

The designer were hired from school which taught only print media design. They made PSD mockups which arrived at frontend developers who would then make HTML out of it with dummy data.

For example say you are designing a charting app for a banking company, They would create pie chart in PSD and then ask the frontend devs to convert into HTML. So these people use to put those charts as image. When it arrived with us the backend team, we use to realize that this graph needs to be dynamic. If we use any other charting library it use to look ugly with overall design.

Not to mention if the webpage does not look pixel perfect in FF and IE it would go as a bug. Countless human hours were wasted in making corners round in IE.

The real interesting part was that, the baking giant did not give a shit about the design in first place neither about the browser compatibility. It was meant for their say 30-40 employees who could simply switch to FF if they did not like sharp edges in IE.

In the battle of egos between the designer and testers we were screwed.

rwhitman 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I swear I feel like I've read a version this article once a year since the advent of CSS. This is a naively utopian vision of the future. The designer/developer is a very rare breed outside of the HN community. Most designers can't / won't write markup or CSS, and most developers are piss poor designers. The design->planning->building segmented workflow will always exist, as it has in all engineering disciplines since the dawn of human civilization.
tomatohs 7 hours ago 0 replies      
This article should be titled "the slice tool is dead."

The slice tool represents the direct transformation of raster image to website. We all know that this isn't possible anymore because of mobile, retina, etc.

But Photoshop and image editors still provide tremendous value to the web development process for mockups, image assets, colors, etc.

What this article is trying to say is that the process of turning a design into a website has become much more difficult. A PSD is no longer a final deliverable but the beginning of a conversation.

Now design needs to be functional. Instead of taking the static image you get from a PSD, you need to ask "What does this look like on mobile? What about huge resolutions? What if we don't have that content?"

The article suggests that this process will be improved by designing in the browser thanks to CSS3.

The truth is that the browser has just barely hit the minimum requirements to be able to make design decisions. Have you seen the Chrome color picker? It's alright for choosing a border color but final design work can not be done entirely in the browser just yet.

elorant 8 hours ago 6 replies      
As a developer I hope that CSS would share a similar fate sometime in the not too distant future. Its freaking hideous, doesnt work as it should and in order to build any decent modern site you end up writing something like 5,000 LoC. Nine out of ten times I want to do something with CSS I prefer doing it with JavaScript.
Trufa 8 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm a little bit confused of the workflow they are suggesting.

I'm a web developer with "good design taste" but I definitely can't design myself, I always pair up with a designer that does the PSD.

But of course this doesn't mean that when I see a navbar that has a gradient I copy a paste the image of the navbar in my website with a <img>, my job is porting this images to HTML, CSS and JS.

If you're actually putting images from the PSD, you're definitely doing it wrong, but in my case, I still need a highly detailed design that I can make a website, otherwise I have to design it myself, wireframes only get you that far.

When I'm working with a good designer, that knows about how the web works, I feel it's a great workflow.

discordian 39 minutes ago 0 replies      
He may wish it was dead, but I can assure you there is probably more PSD to HTML work going on now than ever before.

First of all, it seems the author is not even opposed to the idea of mocking up a design in PSD. He just thinks that responsive design and advances in CSS have altered the process somewhat. OK, point taken, but this doesn't make the overall concept of PSD to HTML obsolete by any stretch of the imagination. The majority of designers will always favor mocking up their intended design in a program like Photoshop, and using that as a starting point for the development process. Responsive design just adds an additional layer of complexity, which may call for additional mockups.

I've heard people advocate prototyping concepts directly with HTML/CSS, but this is ultimately a rather inefficient way to work if you are a detail-oriented designer.

As far as the actual workflow changing and becoming more iterative, it completely depends on the context. Not everyone works at a company like Treehouse that has a team of in house developers and designers. Many website projects - the majority even - are the result of small businesses subcontracting the process out to various companies. It's not always possible for the designer and the developer to be in the same room. So as an ideal - sure, the designer should be involved throughout the process, but this doesn't always match the reality.

danboarder 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Photoshop may be dead as a starting point, but not quite dead as an intermediate step for customized template design. A workflow that works today for quick site turnaround in commercial web design is to screenshot a Wordpress or other CMS responsive template, bring that into Photoshop, drop in branding, color changes, and replace content to produce a comp for presentation to clients. It is still quicker to make design changes in this Photoshop intermediate phase. Once the design is signed off, it's fairly easy to customize the CSS in the original template and arrive at a branded site the client is happy with.
efsavage 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I disagree. In the hands of a competent web designer, photoshop is still the most expressive tool available. I've been bouncing PSDs with a designer for the past couple of weeks and I want him being creative and making something beautiful, not constantly worrying about how the images are going to get sliced up or sprited or what's svg and what's not. That's my job. So long as there is in iterative process in place where I can keep him within the bounds of reality, it all works out very well in the end.
anthemcg 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I am not here to say that web designers should create PSDs and just throw them over the fence.

But, I don't think most web designers really agree with this. I think this philosophy really tries to downplay visual style to practical problem solving and I believe they are both essential.

I can write competent HTML/CSS/JS, Frameworks etc. At least, I know enough to work with engineers and work effectively in my projects. For me using Photoshop isn't just about what browsers can and can not do. Its certainly, not just about pixel perfection or making a design ready to code.

Working with HTML is just clunky. Working with paper is too loose. I can think about how to build a design, plan it on paper but exploring visually is actually quite constrained by trying to do it with markup or just paper/wireframes. Photoshop represents an open environment where I can create anything I need from an illustration to a button and its powerfully close to what it will really look like. To some people that might sound like a clunky or wasteful step but I think it really helps.

For sure, I think Nick makes some great and valid points here. I agree, there are problems with the PSD process but direct prototyping and CSS frameworks just don't solve those problems.

I don't know, I feel like if in reality everyone used HTML to design, everything would look like Bootstrap and that would be acceptable.

tomkin 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't know what the author at Treehouse is doing, but I use the PSD as a visual representation of what I will end up creating as CSS/HTML/JS. Who was still seriously drawing grids and cutting out PNGs/JPGs?

The take away for many reading this article is going to be: Photoshop is not the way to design a website. The article does attempt to address this is not the case, near the bottom.

In the end, the author admits that you do need some design reference point (Photoshop, Illustrator, paper, etc). I do remember the days of cropping out many images, backgrounds, etc., but that was at least 6-7 years ago.

wwweston 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Well, as long as we're making controversial statements (those in the "____ is dead" usually are)....

I think Photoshop as a design/layout tool may have done more damage to front-end design/development productivity than Internet Explorer. And this article is just an indicator that there's a growing awareness of how.

Photoshop is an amazing raster image manipulation tool. But the dominant mechanics have always been about composing a series of fixed-dimension bitmapped layers (outside some shoehorned not-quite-layers-but-actually-layers there's really no other kind of entity to work with). For that reason there's always going to be an impedance mismatch between the tool and the web.

ilaksh 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I agree that PSD to HTML is generally now a bad idea that will make the task more difficult.

However, I believe that the idea of having an interactive design tool should not be abandoned so easily.

I believe that we should create interactive GUI design tools that support the back-end encoding.

I know that doesn't meld well with hand-coded and maintained approaches.

I believe that we can create design tools that output acceptable markup. But I don't think we have to.

I think that the business of writing code in order to layout a user interface is ludicrous. I do it, because thats the way most everyone does it these days. Most everyone also drives massive 5 passenger vehicles as the sole occupant that waste huge amounts of energy driving to and from work every day. Point being, just because that is the way people do things, doesn't mean it makes sense.

Programmers by definition write code. If you're not writing code, you're not a programmer. The problem is the definition of programming needs to be updated, since we now can create very sophisticated programming tools that have friendly user interfaces.

ChikkaChiChi 8 hours ago 0 replies      
We don't live in a world where every web user is part of a majority of three monitor resolutions and web design has changed to accommodate that. Web sites need to scale properly and that cannot be done with raster graphics.

If you are using a raster program for anything other than mockups before you head into real design, you are doing yourself, your clients, and their customers a disservice.

tlogan 7 hours ago 2 replies      
What is the best HTML page design tool? I.e., designing CSS and HTML with minimum coding?
Bahamut 3 hours ago 0 replies      
As a frontend developer, I like having designers figure out the look of a page, and implement the look in a way that doesn't break what I've implemented. If they need help, I don't mind helping - in fact, I have a bit of design experience as well. However, it is not a good use of my time, so I don't do too much of the css.
callmevlad 6 hours ago 0 replies      
The pain of the PSD->HTML workflow, especially around responsive design, is one of the reasons we're working on Webflow (https://webflow.com). While Photoshop will have a critical role in web design for a long time to come, having to deal with multi-resolution elements is extremely tedious.

Also, Photoshop layer styles are way behind what's actually possible with CSS3 these days (multiple shadows, multiple background images, etc), so designers who have to implement a website end up doing their work twice. With a tool like Webflow, implementation work is part of the designer's workflow, so once something looks good on screen, it's actually ready to ship.

Granted, designers have to learn the base concepts of how content flows in a website (the box model), but I think that's a small price to pay for designing directly in the intended medium.

goggles99 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Link bait warning. Author even admits in the comments thatwhat he means is "Going directly from a PSD to an HTML file is dead".

Link bait may get you more traffic in the short turn, but will likely just hurt you in the long run. Especially since lots of people think that he an idiot now.

Why? Who would have thought... Modern day web dev needs to be rendered to different sized screens and we have CSS3, more skills, and better tooling now.

Who does not know this already. I was baited and now he is hated (JK)...

PSD is still used quite commonly for conceptual purposes. Of course no one expects anymore (did they ever?) that it will be pixel perfect across devices ETC.

at-fates-hands 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I actually stopped working in Photoshop about two years ago when I realized you can prototype faster just by building a design from scratch in the actual browser.

It's so much faster than having a designer painstakingly mock something up in PS, then have me build it and realize a myriad of things that weren't apparent because we weren't looking at it in an actual browser.

atomicfiredoll 6 hours ago 0 replies      
"Everyones workflow is different and nobody knows how to make the perfect website. You should always do whatever is most effective for you and your colleagues."

Not to say that there aren't some valid points brought up, but this feels like dramatically titled click bait with a weak conclusion.

When I click a title like this, it's because there is an implication that a better process exists--I want to know what that process is! At best, it's only hinted at here.

I know teams that are using processes similar to the PSD oriented ones outlined in the article very successfully. I suppose that means that it's not dead for them, as it's effective.

SkyMarshal 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Well it should be dead, but like COBOL it'll be around a long time simply because there are tons of expert Photoshop designers who are much more productive with that tool than raw html/css and need their designs converted. I'm working with one right now, don't see it going away anytime soon.
supercanuck 2 hours ago 0 replies      
So what is the replacement?
seivan 7 hours ago 1 reply      
PSD to iOS as well. I just wish companies would stop wasting resources on photoshop goons and let the engineers who work with the platform & SDK design.
zx2c4 7 hours ago 0 replies      
The work flow might be dead but... psd.js lives on!


    git clone git://git.zx2c4.com/psd.js
This is a neat project from `meltingice`.

lstamour 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm surprised no one here's mentioned Photoshop CC's Generate function yet, especially given that it was written in Node.js: http://blogs.adobe.com/photoshopdotcom/2013/09/introducing-a...
joeblau 6 hours ago 0 replies      
If you're looking for a fast way to extract images from your Photoshop file by layers/visibly/etc I highly recommend this software: http://getenigma64.com/

And if you're trying to extract gradients from Photoshop into CSS, SCSS, SASS: http://csshat.com/

grimmdude 5 hours ago 0 replies      
When I first read this article I didn't really agree with it, but after reading some of the comments on here I can understand where it's coming from.

I think the main issue is that the designer understand that it's more of a guideline on how the site should look. When they start getting nitty gritty about exact line breaks and page by page style changes is where it gets hairy and falls apart.

I don't think moving away from mockups is the answer if that's what the article is implying. Just a greater understanding of modern web abilities and standards is all that's needed from the designer.

Sssnake 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Now perhaps in 10 years idiots in suits will finally stop demanding ridiculous pixel perfect control over website designs.
ctrl 5 hours ago 0 replies      
+1 all these replies.As a designer first, I taught myself to code, Just as I taught myself how print medium works. These details are integral to the end product.

A web designer that doesn't understand code != a web designer.

I think Photoshop should be replaced with Illustrator. for the initial design phases.1) You can do wireframes in Illustrator, then build directly on top of that for design.2) Multiple artboards lets you layout multiple screen sizes/breakpoints.3) Resizing elements and keeping crisp edges is much faster.

mratzloff 8 hours ago 0 replies      
tl;dr Most browsers support modern CSS techniques that remove the need for image-based techniques, and mockup tools like OmniGraffle and Balsamiq make it easy to create layout drafts.
workhere-io 5 hours ago 0 replies      
"X is dead" is dead. Just because you don't use X doesn't mean others don't use it.

A very large number of people who do web design for a living are much better at making their visions a reality using PhotoShop than HTML/CSS.

jbeja 7 hours ago 0 replies      
And would be glad if people stop making icons and UI sets in PSD, and start using a more portable format like Svg.
leishulang 5 hours ago 0 replies      
with tools like edge reflow, the human part of PSD to html is going to be dead. HTML/CSS/JS will become the assembly of the web that no one is directly programming with. Designers will keep working on psd and use edge-like tools to export html/js files, and coders will be using clojurescript/fay/coffeescript etc.
wil421 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Tell that to people I work with, this is something I just did last week. I dislike doing it and I dont really agree with the camp that slices their page into images.
mtangle 6 hours ago 0 replies      
But picture is a good start to show what kind design you want And yes in many accessions some designers are tooooooo pitchy about their psd.
thomasfoster96 2 hours ago 0 replies      
bluemnmtattoo 8 hours ago 0 replies      
stone and chisel is dead
AMD launches Kaveri processors aimed at starting a computing revolution venturebeat.com
250 points by mactitan  9 hours ago   151 comments top 37
pvnick 7 hours ago 4 replies      
Among other things, this has lots of applications for molecular dynamics (computational chemistry simulations) [1]. Before you had to transfer data over to the GPU, which if you're dealing with small data sets and only computationally limited is no big deal. But when you get bigger data sets that becomes a problem. Integrating the GPU and the CPU means they both have access to the same memory, which makes parallelization a lot easier. If, as someone else here said, AMD is partnering with Oracle to abstract the HSA architecture with something more high-level like java [2], then you don't need to go learn CUDA or Mantle or whatever GPU language gets cooked up just for using that hardware.

I'm personally hoping that not only will we get to see more effective medicines in less time, maybe some chemistry research professors will get to go home sooner to spend time with their kids.

[1] http://www.ks.uiuc.edu/Research/gpu/

[2] http://semiaccurate.com/2013/11/11/amd-charts-path-java-gpu/

ChuckMcM 7 hours ago 1 reply      
This reaffirms for me again that we really need AMD to keep Intel from falling asleep at the wheel. I was certainly intrigued by what I saw in the Xbox One and PS4 announcements and being able to try some of that tech out will be pretty awesome.

It is fascinating for me how FPUs were "always" co-processors but GPUs only recently managed to get to that point. Having GPUs on the same side of the MMU/Cache as processors is pretty awesome. I wonder if that continues though what it means for the off chip GPU market going forward.

pron 9 hours ago 3 replies      
AMD is doing some interesting work with Oracle to make it easy to use HSA in Java:

* http://semiaccurate.com/2013/11/11/amd-charts-path-java-gpu/

* http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/jvmls2013caspole-2013...

* http://developer.amd.com/community/blog/2011/09/14/i-dont-al...

* http://openjdk.java.net/projects/sumatra/

It is intended that the GPU will be used transparently by Java code employing Java 8's streams (bulk collection operations, akin to .Net's LINQ), in addition to more explicit usage (compile Java bytecode to GPU kernels).

AshleysBrain 5 hours ago 2 replies      
I have a question: Previous systems with discrete GPU memory had some pretty insane memory bandwidths which helped them be way faster than software rendering. Now GPU and CPU share memory. Doesn't that mean the GPU is limited to slower system RAM speeds? Can it still perform competitively with discrete cards? Or is system RAM now as fast as discrete-card bandwidth? If so does that mean software rendering is hardware-fast as well? Bit confused here...
amartya916 6 hours ago 1 reply      
For a review of a couple of the processors in the Kaveri range: http://www.anandtech.com/show/7677/amd-kaveri-review-a8-7600...
bvk 9 hours ago 2 replies      
The comparison is hardly disingenuous: the i5 may not be given Intel's highest branding designation, but it is an enthusiast processor and only a slight step down from the top-of-the-line i7-4770k, lacking only hyperthreading.

And this is completely irrelevant, since the i5-4670k ships with Intel's highest integrated graphics option for desktop chips, which is what is being compared to the A10-7850k.

At the moment AMD's processors can't compete with Intel at the high end. It makes no sense to berate a company for not doing what it can't.

tommi 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Kaveri means 'Buddy' in Finnish. I guess the CPU and graphics are buddies in this case.
networked 7 hours ago 0 replies      
This is an interesting development indeed. In light of http://images.anandtech.com/doci/7677/04%20-%20Heterogeneous... I wonder if we'll soon see a rise in cheap, low-power consumption dedicated servers meant for GPU-accelerated tasks (e.g., for an image host to run accelerated ImageMagick on to resize photographs). Do you think this would be viable in terms of price/performance?

And in case you were, like me, wondering about how much the new AMD CPUs improve on improve on their predecessors' single-thread performance you can find some benchmarks at http://www.anandtech.com/show/7677/amd-kaveri-review-a8-7600....

GigabyteCoin 8 hours ago 3 replies      
Any initial insights as to whether this new CPU/GPU combo will play any nicer with linux than previous AMD GPUs?

Setting up Catalyst and getting my ATI Radeon cards to work properly in a linux setup is probably my least favorite step in setting up a linux computer.

anonymfus 8 hours ago 2 replies      
ck2 7 hours ago 2 replies      
AMD needs to die shrink their R9 chip to 20nm or less and put four of them on a single pci-e board.

They'd make a fortune.

dmmalam 8 hours ago 0 replies      
This could be an interesting solution for a compact steambox, essentially very similar to the hardware in the ps4 & xbox one, though I wonder if the lack of memory bandwidth would hurt performance noticeably.
malkia 9 hours ago 3 replies      
Old ATI chips were named Rage. Kaveri seems to be a river in India.... but it would've been much more cooler if it was named Kolaveri, which according to my poor translation skills must mean Rage in Indian (or one of it's dialects - possibly tamil).

And then there is the song... :)

fidotron 6 hours ago 1 reply      
This is great progress, and the inevitable way we're going to head for compute heavy workloads. Once the ability to program the GPU side really becomes commonplace then the CPU starts to look a lot less important and more like a co-ordinator.

The question is, what are those compute bound workloads? I'm not persuaded that there are too many of them anymore, and the real bottleneck for some time with most problems has been I/O. This even extends to GPUs where fast memory makes a huge difference.

Lack of bandwidth has ended up being the limiting factor for every program I've written in the last 5 years, so my hope is while this is great for compute now the programming models it encourages us to adopt can help us work out the bandwidth problem further down the road.

Still, this is definitely the most exciting time in computing since the mid 80s.

transfire 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Hey, they finally built an Amiga-on-a-chip!
jcalvinowens 8 hours ago 2 replies      
This is interesting, but my experience is that Intel's CPU's are so monumentally superior that it will take a lot more than GPU improvements to make me start buying AMD again.

Specifically I'm dealing with compile workloads here: compiling the Linux kernel on my Haswell desktop CPU is almost a 4x speedup over an AMD Bulldozer CPU I used to have. I used to think people exaggerated the difference, but they don't: Intel is really that much better. And the Haswells have really closed the price gulf.

jjindev 9 hours ago 0 replies      
"AMD says Kaveri has 2.4 billion transistors, or basic building blocks of electronics, and 47 percent of them are aimed at better, high-end graphics."

This sentence would have been so much better off if they'd just punted on the weak explanation of "transistor" and left it to anyone unsure to look it up.

Torn 8 hours ago 0 replies      
> It is also the first series of chips to use a new approach to computing dubbed the Heterogeneous System Architecture

Are these not the same sort of AMD APU chips used in the PS4, i.e. the PS4 chips already have HSA?

According to the following article, The PS4 has some form of Jaguar-based APU: http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/171375-reverse-engineered...

vanderZwan 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Here's something that confuses me, and maybe someone with better know-how can explain this:

1: The one demo of Mantle I have seen so far[1] says they are GPU bound in their demo, even after underclocking the CPU processor.

2: Kaveri supports Mantle, but claims to be about 24% faster than Intel HD processors, which are decent, but hardly in the ballpark of the type of powerful graphics cards used in the demo.

So combining those two, aren't these two technologies trying to pull in different directions?

[1] Somewhere around the 26 minute mark: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIWyf8Hyjbg

rbanffy 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Are there open-source drivers or will the driver builders have to reverse engineer the thing?
rch 4 hours ago 0 replies      
> the power consumption will range from 45 watts to 95 watts. CPU frequency ranges from 3.1 gigahertz to 4.0 gigahertz.

I was fairly dispassionate until the last paragraph. My last Athlon (2003-ish) system included fans that would emit 60dB under load. Even if I haven't gotten exactly the progress I would have wanted, I have to admit that consumer kit has come a long way in a decade.

hosh 6 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm a bit slow on the uptake ... but does this remind anyone of the Cell architecture? How different are those two architectures?
codereflection 8 hours ago 0 replies      
It's really nice to see AMD getting back into being a game changer.
jsz0 7 hours ago 1 reply      
The problem I see with AMD's APUs is the GPU performance, even if it's twice as fast as Intel's GPUs, both Intel & AMD's integrated GPUs are totally adequate for 2D graphics, low end gaming, and light GPU computing. Both require a discrete card for anything more demanding. IMO AMD is sacrificing too much CPU performance. Users with very basic needs will never notice the GPU is 2x faster and people with more demanding needs will be using a discrete GPU either way.
annasaru 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice name. A majestic river in South India.. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaveri
erikj 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The wheel of reincarnation [1] keeps spinning. I hardly see anything revolutionary behind the barrage of hype produced by AMD's marketing department.

[1] http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/W/wheel-of-reincarnation.htm...

belorn 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Will the APU and graphic card cooperate to form a multi-GPU with single output? It sounds as it could create a more effective gaming platform than a CPU and GPU combo.
dkhenry 9 hours ago 1 reply      
So we finally get to see what HSA can bring to the table.
grondilu 7 hours ago 0 replies      
The A-Series APUs are available today.

It's nice to read a tech article about a new tech that is available now, and not in an unknown point in the future.

adrianwaj 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder how well they can be used for mining scrypt.
lispm 7 hours ago 0 replies      
So the next computing revolution is based on more power hungry chips for gamers?
imdsm 7 hours ago 1 reply      
How do I get one?
higherpurpose 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I wish Nvidia would join HSA already, and stop having such a Not Invented Here mentality.
X4 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Want to buy, now! Can someone give me a hand at choosing a motherboard or something that allows using about 4 to 8 of these APU's?
ebbv 6 hours ago 2 replies      
All of Intel's recent mass market chips have had built in GPUs as well. That's not particularly revolutionary. The article itself states "9 out of 10" computers sold today have an integrated GPU. That 9 out of 10 is Intel, not AMD.

The integrated GPUs make sense from a mass market, basic user point of view. The demands are not high.

But for enthusiasts, even if the on die GPU could theoretically perform competitively with discrete GPUs (which is nonsensical if only due to thermal limits), discrete GPUs have the major advantage of being independently upgradeable.

Games are rarely limited by CPU any more once you reach a certain level. But you will continue to see improvements from upgrading your GPU, especially as the resolution of monitors is moving from 1920x1200 to 2560x1440 to 3840x2400.

higherpurpose 5 hours ago 1 reply      
> AMD now needs either a Google or Microsoft to commit to optimizing their operating system for HSA to seal the deal, as it will make software that much easier to write.

I'd say this is perfect for Android, especially since it deals with 3 architectures at once: ARM, x86, MIPS (which will probably see a small resurgence once Imagination releases its own MIPS cores and on a competitive manufacturing process), and AMD is already creating a native API for JVM, so it's probably not hard to do it for Dalvik, too. It would be nice to see support for it within a year. Maybe it would convince Nvidia to support it, too, with their unified-memory Maxwell-based chip next year, instead of trying to do their own thing.

noonereally 5 hours ago 1 reply      
"Kaveri" is name of one of major river in India. Must have involved ( or headed) by Indian guy.


US Supreme Court declines to hear appeal by patent troll inc.com
403 points by dded  13 hours ago   76 comments top 10
grellas 10 hours ago 4 replies      
A few thoughts:

1. The Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal by Soverain from an adverse ruling by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals that had determined the Soverain "shopping cart" patent to be invalid on grounds of obviousness.

2. The Federal Circuit's holding by a 3-judge panel had been remarkable and had shocked patent lawyers generally in that the parties before the court had not even raised the issue on appeal as a ground for invalidating the jury's verdict below. The court raised the issue on its own, concluded that the patent was obvious and invalid, and gave judgment for Newegg in spite of the fact that the jury at the trial court level had found that Newegg infringed.

3. This particular patent had been the original shopping cart patent, dating back to 1994 (well before Amazon began) and it had had a formidable history by which its holder had gotten massive licensing fees from major players over many years for the privilege of using online shopping carts on the web.

4. It is easy to say today that everyone knows what the concept of a shopping cart is and that anyone could have come up with the idea of applying that concept to online shopping. That is all well and good but consider this: not only had this patent passed muster as being non-obvious with the USPTO on its original filing but it had also been found to have been non-obvious on two separate patent re-examinations before that same body and by a string of U.S. district court judges before whom the issue had arisen. In other words, Newegg faced a huge challenge on this issue (the legal standard required that it be able to prove that it was obvious by "clear and convincing" evidence, which is often a tough standard to meet) and this is why Amazon and virtually all other major other online retailers had long since caved and agreed to pay royalties for use of the patent. In the patent community, the Soverain patent was seen as rock solid and one whose shopping cart idea was deemed far from obvious. The top judges and lawyers in the nation, not to mention the USPTO, had all so concluded. The chances of upending it seemed slim to none. And, as noted, even the parties themselves had not raised the issue on the key appeal as a ground for potential reversal. Thus, everyone was stunned when the Federal Circuit reversed the judgment against Newegg on that ground, invalidated the patent, and threw the case out.

5. All that said, when Soverain petitioned the Supreme Court for review of the Federal Circuit's decision, it was trying to undo what it perceived as an injustice done to it as a private litigant ("this is so unfair to us and to our valuable patent"). However, from the Supreme Court's point of view, the kind of petition filed by Soverain is to be granted, and a case heard, only when it has significance far beyond whatever impact it might have on any private litigant. The Court's role in hearing such discretionary appeals is to step in and decide important questions of federal law or to determine who is right when the various lower federal appellate courts may have reached conflicting decisions on such points of law in way that cries out of definitive resolution by the highest court. The Court will not hear cases merely because they might have been wrongly decided unless some such extraordinary factor exists. Thus, in denying Soverain's petition, the Court did nothing more than say that this particular petition did not present important issues of the kind that warranted its attention. It did not validate the Federal Circuit's reasoning or analysis. It did not weigh in against patent trolls. It did not add its authority to the fight against frivolous patents. It simply did what it does on over 99% of such discretionary petitions: it used its discretion to deny it. The legal significance of its decision goes no farther than that.

6. Is Soverain a patent troll that deserved this outcome? Well, its CEO had been a law partner at a major law firm (Latham & Watkins) and the company's business was clearly driven by a legal licensing scheme that had little or nothing to do with active business operations or innovation. It had simply acquired the original company that had come up with the patent back in the day. So, it is a troll if you want to call it that or it is not if you want to use some different definition. But this distinction does underscore how difficult it becomes to analyze patent issues simply by placing labels on the parties. The problem with modern software patents is that too many are too easily granted over trivial "innovations" and this has given vast incentives to those who would package them into shakedown licensing ventures and thereby gum things up for true innovators. It is a situation that calls for action by Congress to rein this in. Otherwise, every party trying to defend itself will find itself, as Newegg did, having to go to extraordinary efforts at massive expense to avoid claims of infringement. Very few litigants can do that and, indeed, Newegg is to be commended for fighting this all the way against tough odds. Let us only hope that systemic fixes can help correct the problem so that this is not the only way available for dealing with such patents. Whatever else this system does, it hardly promotes true innovation.

kalleboo 12 hours ago 2 replies      
I had to use a secret browsing window to read this without signing up, so here it is for anyone else who has trouble loading the page:


Chalk one up for the enemies of patent trolls: The Supreme Court on Monday threw out a request for trial from alleged patent troll Soverain Software.

The case, called Soverain Software LLC. v. Newegg Inc., is one of three such cases the Supreme Court is expected to consider this year. While the Court will likely hear the remaining cases, which deal with finer points of patent law, its dismissal of Soverain speaks to the potential frivolousness of its claims.

Soverain acquired the rights to numerous pieces of code tied to the online shopping cart, developed in the 1990s. In recent years, Soverain has gone on a litigious tear, suing more than two dozen companies including Amazon, Nordstrom, Macy's and Newegg, an online retailer, which all use shopping carts for internet sales.

Soverain had some success suing on the state level, where a Texas jury awarded the Chicago-based company $2.5 million in damages against Newegg. However, Soverain lost on appeal last year in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, which ruled the shopping cart patents owned by Soverain were too general.

Patent trolls typically acquire rights to fallow or soon-to-expire patents with no intention of using the patent. Often patent trolls set up shell companies whose only assets are the patents, which means they have no real revenues or assets. Their sole purpose is to harass small businesses, which usually settle rather than pay for extended and costly litigation.

Patent law was originally written to protect the patent holder, making it easier for the patent holder to prevail in court. For the patent infringer to win, rather, the defendant must prove exceptional circumstances--namely that the patentee acted in bad faith and made baseless claims. This is hard to do. While the patent holder can be awarded "treble damages," or three times the damage claimed, the most the infringer can ever collect is attorney fees.

The remaining cases before the Supreme Court will deal with these finer points.

Congress is examining legislation that would fight patent trolls and their frivolous lawsuits by making them liable for court costs, should they lose their cases.

Small businesses mounted 3,400 legal defenses in 2011 for patent cases, a 32 percent increase over the prior year, according to a research paper from 2012 by Boston University law professors James Bessen and Michael J. Meurer. That cost to small companies was about $11 billion in 2011, also a 32 percent increase over the prior year.

The total median awards to trolls is now nearly twice as high as those to legitimate patent holders, whose median reward fell about 30 percent to $4 billion, according to a 2013 report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

vanderZwan 11 hours ago 5 replies      
Good news, but the last sentence of the article made me curious:

> The total median awards to trolls is now nearly twice as high as those to legitimate patent holders, whose median reward fell about 30 percent to $4 billion, according to a 2013 report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

I was wondering how they estimated this, so I checked out the report:

> We collect information about patent holder success rates, time-to-trial statistics, and practicing versus nonpracticing entity (NPE) statistics from 1995 through 2012.

> Damages awards for NPEs averaged more than double those for practicing entities over the last decade.

Note: PWC does not use the word "patent troll" - that is entirely the interpretation of the article.

So, just to play the devil's advocate: are NPEs by definition patent trolls? I can't think of a counterargument, but maybe someone else can?

EDIT: Thanks for the enlightening examples so far!

motbob 12 hours ago 2 replies      
"While the Court will likely hear the remaining cases, which deal with finer points of patent law, its dismissal of Soverain speaks to the potential frivolousness of its claims."

I don't think this is accurate. The standard that the Supreme Court uses to decide whether to take cases is not "is this frivolous." Soverain v. Newegg would have to meet a pretty high standard in order to be granted appeal.

I think the author of this piece is reading into this denial way too much. The norm is for appeals to be denied. To be more precise, less than 5% of appeals were granted over a recent one year period. http://dailywrit.com/2013/01/likelihood-of-a-petition-being-...

dded 12 hours ago 4 replies      
I'm encouraged that patent trolls are getting knocked. But my fear is that patent law will hit such a state that only large corporations can wield them. If I'm a small patent holder, and I'm liable for court costs if I lose a suit, then it becomes far too risky to defend my patent against a corporation that violates it.
ck2 11 hours ago 2 replies      
What did it cost Newegg to litigate that?

Does the troll have to pay legal fees?

Hope Newegg can remain price competitive.

csbrooks 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I worked on shopping cart software for the web in 1996, and the company I worked at, Evergreen Internet, had been around a while before that. I wonder if anything we did constitutes prior art.
shmerl 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I hope TQP troll will be busted as well. When will the Supreme Court process that case?
incogmind 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I think the best way out of these things is make software patents invalid after a short period- like 10 years.
revelation 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I guess this is why HN mods edit titles on submissions (although the original title is just as terrible). The Supreme Court did not side with anyone; they denied a petition to the court, which is the case for the vast majority of petitions.

If they did accept this particular petition, this would not mean that the Supreme Court sides with the patent troll and the world is doomed; it simply means that the case deals with a contested issue where clarification by the Supreme Court is widely sought.

The Great Firewall of Yale
265 points by shaufler  3 hours ago   88 comments top 28
zaidf 2 hours ago 6 replies      
I thought my school was bad but reading this makes the administration at my school look like angels. When I launched a similar service at UNC Chapel Hill, the IT dept blocked requests from my server to theirs for scraping latest data.

They claimed I was creating excess load, which is silly because if they really did the math, given how many people were using my service I was probably saving them resources.

windexh8er 2 minutes ago 0 replies      
If anyone is curious that's a Palo Alto Networks NGFW block page. Yale is at least using some great hardware!
jahewson 2 hours ago 3 replies      
There is no way that a valid copyright claim can be made over the underlying data because it is a statement of fact. Such a work is not eligible for copyright protection.
Tossrock 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't think blocking a specific set of IP addresses constitutes deep packet inspection. If they were reading the payload contents for strings matching the CourseTable site, that would qualify.

Still, this is a stupid move by Yale.

jamesk_au 2 hours ago 3 replies      
One of the principal issues raised here - and not squarely addressed in the post or the article to which it links - is the extent to which average subjective ratings of courses and professors should be permitted to dominate the decision-making processes of students.

Note that Yale's complaint included concerns over "the prominence of class and professor ratings", and the student developers' response was to remove "the option of sorting classes by ratings". Subjective five-point ratings can be useful in many contexts, but in the context of education they can also give rise to genuine pedagogical concerns about the way in which students choose their courses.

Looking at the screenshot in the post, it is not difficult to see that the pattern of enrolments might very quickly become skewed towards those classes with higher average evaluation ratings (whatever such ratings might mean). If that happens, it suggests that some students may be making decisions about the courses in which they enrol based principally on factors other than their interests, abilities and future career paths, or without critical thought. Whilst other factors are relevant, including those for which an average of subjective evaluation ratings might be a plausible heuristic, that does not mean those factors should be the primary or predominant factors.

Without seeking to defend or condone Yale's response, there is more to the story than the tale of student censorship presented in the post.

ojbyrne 2 hours ago 1 reply      
"Universities are a bastion of free speech." LOL.
dictum 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I expect the official explanation to be something like "we cannot endorse an unofficial service that might give misleading information to our students."

Every censor does it from an honest desire to keep this terribly misleading information away from the unknowing masses.

I don't think Yale is blocking the service in a conspiratorial effort to stymie students, but from a not well thought out desire to babysit.

epmatsw 3 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm sure no Yale student has ever heard of tethering and that blocking the site on the Yale network will effectively prevent very smart students from reaching this website.

You would think that the Yale administrators would know better than this.

shtylman 1 hour ago 2 replies      
I run a similar service for other schools (courseoff.com) and I have run into this before. I bet what happened was their site failed to cache the course data or seat information and was thus making lots of requests to the Yale servers. To Yale it might appear like a DoS from this site.

Obviously I don't know for sure but I would venture to bet this block was more an automated response than malicious intent against the site.

ballard 21 minutes ago 0 replies      
This is an unacceptable, naked abuse of power. Any education institution blocking any site on political or anticompetitive grounds flushes away any vestiges of ideals of free speech and open learning. The administration should have known better or it may find itself replaced for acting incompetently.
stormbrew 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Something like this happened at the university in the city I live in. There was an apparently awful service for signing up for classes called BearTracks [1] and someone made a scraped version of it that was better called BearScat [2]. Eventually the university basically incorporated the better version into theirs (to, I understand, mixed results).

[1] https://www.beartracks.ualberta.ca/[2] http://www.bearscat.ca/

ballard 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
Has there been an official response?
Nanzikambe 2 hours ago 2 replies      
If it were only deep packet inspection, the solution would be simply to prefix https:// and be done with it. As other posters have remarked, I suspect the article means an IP based block.
nmodu 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
If I'm paying $58,000 to attend an institution (rather, if my family is sacrificing $58,000 for me to attend an institution...or,worse yet, if I am taking out $58,000 worth of student loans per year), I should be able to use a course listing service so that I can tailor my academic experience however I chose. THAT is how we open this debate, not with comments about who the proper copyright holder is or whether or not this constitutes as deep packet inspection.
ivanplenty 2 hours ago 1 reply      
tl;dr -- the crux of the issue (right or wrong) is making the evaluation information too public. From the news story:

> "[Administrators' primary concern was] making YC [Yale College] course evaluation available to many who are not authorized to view this information,

> "[Administrators also asked] how they [the site operators] obtained the information, who gave them permission to use it and where the information is hosted."

Edit: Agreed, I don't buy these are the real reasons.

diminoten 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Is the course listing software open-source? I'd like to do this for another school...
dreamdu5t 3 hours ago 2 replies      
What's the purpose of Yale censoring certain websites? I find it hilarious that people spend so much money to go to Yale, and some of that money goes to inspecting what they're browsing.
thinkcomp 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Harvard did this in 2003. It even went so far as to accuse me of using the word "The" improperly, in a copyright line where I properly attributed credit to "The President and Fellows of Harvard College," when http://www.harvard.edu at the time said the exact same thing (and apparently still does). I left Harvard early (with a degree), and then I wrote a book about it.


Some things never change.

benmarks 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The experience seems like fair preparation for the reality into which their charges will graduate.
poizan42 2 hours ago 1 reply      
If you actually go to http://coursetable.com you will be asked to login through Yale Central Authentication Service, which sends you to:https://secure.its.yale.edu/cas/login?service=http%3A%2F%2Fc...

I hope I don't give the administration any good ideas here, but I would seem that they have a much more efficient way to disable the site.

philip1209 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Switch it to Cloudflare to obfuscate the source
takeda64 1 hour ago 0 replies      
It looks like http://www.coursetable.com is filtered on WebSense.
arkinus 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Note that this site is also accessible at http://coursetable.com
zobzu 1 hour ago 0 replies      
it's so disgusting that this stuff even happen.
epochwolf 2 hours ago 2 replies      
This is not news. Most campus have filtering software and the university administration will use it to block websites that make them look bad.
robitor 2 hours ago 1 reply      
"It threatens the very basis of academic freedom and net neutrality"

So pretentious, did a teenager write this?

Rails Consulting for Fun and Profit joshsymonds.com
28 points by Veraticus  3 hours ago   18 comments top 6
leknarf 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Great article overall. I particularly liked the three mistakes you pointed out:

I nickled-and-dimed a client on change requests, alienating that client and making myself appear less professional. ... I would have been better served by her loving me than making a little more money.

I completely agree. In fact, this is part of the reason new freelancers often regret setting their hourly rate too low. It's important that you set a high enough rate that you can throw in unbillable work now and then without destroying your earnings. The best freelancers consistently under-promise and over-deliver.

For pricing my services, I need to start high and work my way down. I generally start client conversations on my hourly rate at what I would consider a reasonable ultimate number, and then allow myself to be driven down from there generally because the client wants a long-term contract and expects to save on my hourly based on the length of the engagement.

Constant haggling will make every new project a frustrating experience. I usually recommend setting a fair rate and then holding the line when clients ask for a discount. That's tough to do with your first few projects, but becomes easier once you're more confident about your rate and abilities.

More projects, less hourly. When starting as a consultant, I was really selling only my hours. Now Symonds & Son is a business in its own right, and Ive hired designers and developers to help with my workload. Working with other talented individuals makes much more sense on a project basis, where I can package their (and my) hours together.

This depends on what type of projects you're looking to take on. Landing pages and presentation work will probably pay more if you charge per project (since clients won't believe you can more 10x faster than cheaper devs), but building new product features for startups is probably better at an hourly rate (since startup clients always change what they're looking to build).

If anyone is looking to get started as a freelancer/consultant or just looking to expand their existing business, take a look at our startup: http://getlambda.com.

vellum 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I nickled-and-dimed a client on change requests, alienating that client and making myself appear less professional. ...I should have just sucked it up and done the work, leaving both of us with warm fuzzes in the end, even if I took a slight loss on the contract.

It's interesting the OP lists this as a mistake. I'd say he made the right move, as some clients will "just one more thing" you to death. Once the changes go beyond the agreed-upon scope, you should start charging. Alternatively, adjust your estimate to take into account client changes.

Said client did not have a whole lot of money, and while the initial contract amount was commensurately very low, she really didnt appreciate me charging additional for some very minor changes.

This was the real mistake.

welder 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Great advice getting non-sexy clients with proven revenue streams. During my contracting experience I found startups usually easier to talk with but wanting to pay lower rates.

Also for fellow contractors, I built this free automatic time tracker to automate that clock-in/clock-out drudge:http://wakatime.com

busterarm 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Really great read.

Are there really Rails devs out there getting work who don't know what ActiveRecord is or what gems do? That's a bit shocking to me. Maybe it'll be easier for me to get work than I thought.

danso 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I can't believe no one has yet commented on the quality of developers the OP has found. Did the Great Frameworks War end this afternoon? Even as a Rails dev, I have to both laugh and also think, "yeah, I could see that" to the OP's experience of interviewing a "Rails engineer" who didn't know what ActiveRecord was.

Maybe it was a railroad engineer?

jebblue 2 hours ago 6 replies      
Good article.

>> But if thats so, then why do most engineers, even the good ones, stay put at their full-time, salaried positions?

Fear, wives, families.

Google's new business model stratechery.com
61 points by ben336  5 hours ago   26 comments top 10
notatoad 2 hours ago 4 replies      
>That is why I ... am inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt with regards to Nest data.

What is with the paranoia over Nest's data? Yes, google is a data-hungry company. but Nest doesn't collect any valuable data that google doesn't already have. Sure, the motion sensors in a nest thermostat can sense when somebody is in your house, and what the temperature is. But Google already has your cell phone, they know where you are at all times, that's a hell of a lot more valuable than knowing whether somebody is currently inside whatever building where you installed your thermostat in.

I suspect that the nest acquisition is about finding new uses for all the data they have, not about collecting more data. Google already knows, without installing sensors in my house, when i leave for work. they know when i'm heading home, and when i go on holidays. That all seems like information that a home automation system would love to have access to.

evv 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Google clearly has an unprecedented (well, maybe except for sun..) set of technologies on the horizon. Between network infastructure, mapping, energy, robots, and now home automation, their dominance in the future is easy to forsee.

However, there was no mention about Google's rise to power being centered around a focused set of high-quality web services. And now they are starting their "3rd business model leg" of consumer devices before they have truly mastered their second, the SaaS market. I find it funny how the OP quickly glances over Apples unprecedented focus, althewhile highlighting and admiring Google's unwarranted diversification.

The obvious question is: can Google get away with it all, or will they fail without focus? They have managed to stay cohesive so far, but as the author rightly points out, Google's true diversification has only just begun.

uptown 11 minutes ago 0 replies      
This post reminds me a lot of Benedict Evans' post from October.


jmillikin 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This submission links to the blog's top level. The article's permalink is http://stratechery.com/2014/googles-new-business-model/
snowwrestler 57 minutes ago 1 reply      
Oh, this is the proof of the new business model? Not the Motorola purchase, which was far more money for a far bigger consumer device company?
wturner 15 minutes ago 0 replies      
From what I've read they've also entered the defense industry through Boston Dynamics and are now (I guess) "officially" in the business of war.
spacemanmatt 4 hours ago 1 reply      
This article shed credibility in the 1st paragraph, calling the Motorola purchase a patent and panic-driven deal. Au contraire, it was a heck of good deal for Google. It's not clear that Google panics about anything.

Forbes put it like this: http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2013/10/22/motorola-...

chippy 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Hmm, I didn't quite get what the new business model was from the article. I got it that they were diversifying and I can understand it as an investment for the future but that doesn't explain what the new model is. Could someone help?
cracell 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Completely ignores Google's aggressive acquisition of robotics' companies. I'm not sure how those two fit together but unless this is two branches of Google moving in different directions I think they must both fit into the same vision.
psbp 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Maybe I'm imagining, but weren't there rumors that Google's new business was taking small fees from online and real world purchases? Especially those expedited through Google hardware and software?

It certainly would make Google Shopping, Glass, and self-driving cars seem like legitimate business decisions.

Everyone can now track down noisy tabs chrome.blogspot.com
84 points by cleverjake  6 hours ago   71 comments top 15
junto 5 hours ago 3 replies      
As a parent I was more interested in the "supervised users" feature to monitor your children's internet usage. Parents desperately need something simple to help them make sure that their children are safe on the internet.

Most solutions are far too technical for most parents to understand and their children are more technically aware than they are, even at a young age.

It is of course important that parents can educate their children about the dangers of the internet, but such a feature is like having stabilisers on a bike. Once your children show you that they can be trusted the you can take the supervision off and give them the privacy they they too deserve.

I think Google is hitting a sweet spot if they can get that feature right.


nairteashop 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Does someone know how this feature works?

I thought this was difficult/impossible to do because plugins like flash communicate directly with the OS APIs, bypassing Chrome (this was confirmed by the Chrome team in a reddit AMA a while back).

I suppose this is possible with the Flash plugin that comes bundled with Chrome, but what about other plugins, like Java?

Edit: never mind, found this on omgchrome: "the indicator will be successfully triggered by most browser audio...this means the flash version that comes built-in with Chrome, HTML5 content and apps making use of PPAPI/NACL plugins. But a few things aren't picked up, including anything making use of "out of Chrome" plugins, like Silverlight and Quicktime."

noname123 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Good feature, but to take it one step further. I'd like to request an auto-mute feature filtered by domain names. Why?

Too often, when you are surfing on streaming movie sites and porn sites, you are forced to disable AdBlock in order for the videos to load properly; but you'd get those annoying popup tabs in the backgrounds with JasmineCam for porn sites and P&G/J&J household product ads for movie streaming sites. I'd like to mute those tabs right away and also right click and add them to the "mute audio list". Someone with the pull, please add this to the Chromium project tracker!

daremo_ 5 hours ago 6 replies      
"On the desktop, weve updated the default styling of UI elements like form controls and scrollbars"

They kept that one quiet didn't they. A strange "feature" addition that's starting to cause quite an uproar on the Chromium issue tracker: https://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=279464

laureny 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This only goes half way, sadly: noisy tabs will only be shown with the symbol in your Window list if they are the active window in that tab. If you have another tab open, it's that tab that will appear there, so you will still have to hunt down all your windows and then look for a tab with the symbol.


Similarly, I can't believe it's still not possible to name an entire window, e.g. "Hacker News", which would contain all my open HN tabs.

ereckers 5 hours ago 3 replies      
Now if you can just mute it directly from the tab they'd really be onto something.
swamp40 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Why don't they just give you the option to only play the video/audio when the tab is active?

Facebook already auto-starts some videos only when they are in view, so the technology is available.

If you want streaming audio, you just have to open up a new window.

operanotgoogle 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
what's with the submission's titles ? This one is obviously marketing aka false. I'm using opera on linux to browse the web, how a new feature in chrome affects me ?
valarauca1 5 hours ago 4 replies      
Does a similar feature exist in firefox? Or even as an addon?

Several searches couldn't yield a result.

nfoz 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Alternatively, we could have designed the web so that autoplay of audio/video isn't a thing.
jackocnr 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Finally! I have wanted this feature since I started using tabs, about 10 years ago. Yet another win for Chrome.
piyush_soni 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This is Brilliant! My reasons to continue using Firefox are reducing by day :(.
ChristianMarks 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Excellent. Could have used this feature when AOL acquired the Huffington Post.
jeorgun 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Wait, did they just release the Aura/ChromeOS desktop as a Metro app?
Magi604 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I noticed this not too long ago. It's a very welcome addition since there are so many audio/video ads that autoplay these days.
Project Euler projecteuler.net
228 points by gprasanth  12 hours ago   106 comments top 32
jboggan 10 hours ago 5 replies      
The best technical interview I ever had involved picking a random Project Euler problem in the hundreds and pair-programming our way through it. The CTO wrote his version in Python and I worked in Perl . . . he was astounded mine ran 8x faster.

The same company also had regular hack night where everyone drinks a lot of Tecate, agress on a Project Euler problem and a language no one knows, and races. Fun times.

habosa 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I can't adequately express how great of a resource Project Euler is to someone learning about programming.

The way I learned to code was working my way through Project Euler problems in Python, eventually getting to a score of about 55 before I was at the point where I decided to try making "real" programs like Android apps.

When you learn to code people tell you that X or Y is bad for performance, and you should do A or B instead. The problem is that most beginner-type programs run in a few milliseconds and there is no way to see the performance either way. When you're doing a PE problem, a performance tweak can change your answer from a 1-minute runtime to a 1-second runtime. That's something anyone can appreciate, and it lets you experiment with performance on interesting math problems.

Another advantage of Project Euler is it makes you realize just how powerful a computer can be in the right hands. These are problems that nobody in their right mind would try to solve by hand, but they're so tractable with programming knowledge. That was a very exciting realization to me and it pushed me towards a career in software.

b0b0b0b 10 hours ago 5 replies      
I love project euler, but I've come to the realization that its purpose is to beat programmers soundly about the head and neck with a big math stick. At work last week, we were working on project euler at lunch, and had the one CS PhD in our midst not jumped up and explained the chinese remainder theorem to us, we wouldn't have had a chance.
FigBug 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I was really into Project Euler when I had a job where I didn't have to do anything. I've solved 122 problems. Now I work for myself and don't have the time, as well I solved all I was able to solve. I last solved a problem in 2009 I think.

It's fun, I encourage everybody to do a few. Get past the easy ones at least.

henrik_w 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Another good one for (more general) programming problems is Programming Praxis: http://programmingpraxis.com/
mixedbit 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I love project Euler. A nice way to improve programming skills in a new language is to go through others solutions in the same language after you solved a problem. This allows to break bad habits. Say you are a C programmer learning Ruby or Lisp, 'C-ish' approach will often seem the most straightforward, but will rarely be optimal and idiomatic in the new language you are learning.
gaius 11 hours ago 2 replies      
A dozen Project Euler solutions in a given language can be an excellent pre-interview candidate screening technique. Quite simple to check for plagiarism too, within reason.
asgard1024 11 hours ago 2 replies      
I solved about 80 of them, then my interest waned a little. But I wonder, are there any hints or recommended reading for the harder ones? Some of them I have no idea how to even start working on..
bradleyjg 11 hours ago 0 replies      
These are a lot of fun to do, especially in a new language you want to play with. However they are as much an exercise of your math skills (mostly basic number theory and combinatorics) as programming. One thing I'd suggest is that you pick an algorithm reference and stick with it, if you google anything too specific you will come across one of the many sites where people have blogged about thier solutions.
datawander 10 hours ago 1 reply      
To be honest, I'm shocked this is on the front page as this website has been out for years and already notably mentioned, but I guess it's good to recycle very important websites for those who haven't heard of it.

My favorite problems is 98. This problem, along with the Sudoku one at 96, require much more careful programming than some of the others due the drastically fewer number of people who solved it compared to the surrounding problems.

dmunoz 6 hours ago 0 replies      
A lot of good links to similar sites in this comment thread.

I enjoy Project Euler, but as with many people slowly got annoyed by lack of specific mathematical knowledge as opposed to programming. One thing I believe would really help with this would be a resource that discussed the problem in the abstract. As an example, for most of the programs that rely on using primes, whether it be iterating them (e.g. first 1M primes) or the unique prime factorization of a number, discuss the known algorithms in pseudocode. Perhaps this is a bit much, as I would be satisfied with just knowing the words I need to go find resources for myself. This is what I tend to do anyway after I have taken a fair stab at a problem: "Oh, I'm doing prime factorization. I wonder if there are better algorithms than I have used." Indeed, one resource for this is the forums that are made available after the problem is solved.

Some might see this as ruining the fun, but I would personally have more fun and solve more problems if this was available.

captn3m0 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Tangentially related: I made a pseudo-terminal web interface to Project Euler called CodeBot[1]. You can view problems, submit solutions, and do much more (some *nix commands work) in your browser. Its even open-source[2] on GitHub

[1]: http://codebot.sdslabs.co.in/

[2]: http://github.com/sdslabs/codebot

blacksmythe 8 hours ago 0 replies      
If you are not challenged by these problems, here is an alternative that I found considerably more difficult:


kylemaxwell 8 hours ago 0 replies      
For those interested I keep a list of these sorts of things at https://github.com/technoskald/coding-entertainment.
Karunamon 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm trying to go through this with Ruby right now and having a lot of fun. Being a bit rusty on basic algorithms and higher algebra has not helped much, though.
kozikow 8 hours ago 0 replies      
In my opinion it may be better to do practice SRMs/Codeforces contests instead of project Euler. Topcoder rank imo tends to mean more, since it is timed. If someone says "I solved x problems on site X" you can't say if he done it in days or weeks of effort. If someone says he's red on topcoder you can say he's awesome.
ahuth 10 hours ago 1 reply      
There's only one problem for me with Project Euler. Eventually, the problems become more about coming up with the mathematical algorithm you need to solve it.

That may be what you want. However, a lot of these are outside my math knowledge/ability, without really expanding my programming ability.

selectnull 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I love it, although I found I lack math knowledge to really be good at it.

I enjoyed solving a few of those problems using SQL, that was fun.

doughj3 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Project Euler is great but as others here have said it is very math focused. Can anyone share other programming challenge sites? I saw one the other day here on HN in a comment but can't find it again. The only thing I remember is the problem I checked out was a kind of AI / pathfinding for a "floor cleaning robot" and code was submitted directly in the page.

[Edit] Just found it going through my history: https://www.hackerrank.com/

yetanotherphd 55 minutes ago 0 replies      
The best and worst thing about project Euler is the binary feedback they give you: either you pass or you fail.

On the one hand, it is a good lesson in how hard it can be to write correct code.

On the other hand, real world problems aren't black boxes where you try an integer until you get the right one. Problems with multiple tests needed to pass (like topcoder) are much more realistic.

donquichotte 11 hours ago 3 replies      
Problem that has been solved by the smallest number of people (31): http://projecteuler.net/problem=453
JakeStone 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I always love this site for when things get a little slow and I think I could use some relaxation.

Then I remember that I only took a little bit of math, so then there's the research, the papers to read and decipher, the code to write, and I finally solve the problem and swear I'll never come back.

So, yeah, I just finished a batch of problems last week so I could get a couple of ego badges just within reach. 75 down, 379 to go!

yankoff 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Project Euler is great. Another one, but more algorithm and CS oriented: hackerrank.com
aezell 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I always liked this set of challenges/riddles, though it is directed at Python specifically. I appreciated that it forced you to deal with some Internet-related programming tools and concepts.


wanda 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Weird, I was just talking about this earlier when someone asked for productive activity on train journeys to/from work.

I used to do these problems years ago when I was still a student and later when commuting to London. I did as many as I could on paper before trying to program solutions. I'll have to log in sometime and finish the few I missed.

careersuicide 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Here's a little side project I've been working on for a few months: https://github.com/seaneshbaugh/rosetta-euler/

I've been a little busy lately so it's been neglected somewhat. Why is Prolog so hard?

elwell 11 hours ago 2 replies      
How does it work? Do you submit code or just input your answer as a number?
prothid 11 hours ago 1 reply      
This site is great fun to tinker with a new programming language.
sricciardi 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I used it to learn the basics of F# and solving algorithms using a functional approach.
Sgoettschkes 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Learning haskell with ProjectEuler right now. It's great and after solving it, one can always look up the forums and improve the own code or learn different ways to implement the solution!
jbeja 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I will start this with python.
Pharocloud Hosting for Smalltalk web-applications pharocloud.com
13 points by protomyth  2 hours ago   1 comment top
endlessvoid94 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This is great. Can't wait to finally push my smalltalk stuff into production -- does anyone have a good example code for interacting with Postgres from Pharo?
USA ISP Speed Index netflix.com
61 points by justinzollars  6 hours ago   40 comments top 14
tinbad 3 hours ago 4 replies      
I have Comcast home internet in the bay area (Speedtest is around 30mbit down/8 mbit up) and every time I try to watch anything on Netflix it buffers for a minute and the resolution usually stays unacceptably low (320p?!) while usually having to buffer again every 2-5 minutes, sometimes for the whole run time of the show. Meanwhile, Comcast's own XFINITY streaming service delivers instantly (no buffering) at full HD resolution.

I actually never understood what the whole net neutrality discussion is about, as it's very obvious that we're already getting screwed over by ISPs.

GigabyteCoin 10 minutes ago 0 replies      
They have Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, and Finland listed on that site but not Canada? All of which have a combined population smaller than that of Canada.

How odd.

bhousel 5 hours ago 0 replies      
The fine print: "These ratings reflect the average performance of all Netflix streams on each ISPs network from Nov. 2012 through Sept. 2013 and average performance during prime time starting in Oct. 2013. The average is well below the peak performance due to many factors including the variety of encodes we use to deliver the TV shows and movies we carry as well as home Wi-Fi and the variety of devices our members use. Those factors cancel out when comparing across ISPs, so these relative rankings are a good indicator of the consistent performance typically experienced across all users on an ISP network. - See more at: http://ispspeedindex.netflix.com/usa#sthash.ufsSY1Bi.dpuf"
CWuestefeld 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't see that this tells us anything of interest at all. It's certainly not saying how fast a given ISP can go if you pay for it. I think it's largely reflecting a combination of which ISPs have a higher-proportion of subscribers on cheap plans, and who has users that are pulling content through marginal WiFi connections.
brownbat 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Would be more useful if it controlled for what plans people are on.

You really need a scatterplot here, or to look for clusters at certain speeds. Say you're looking around 15 Mbps. At that rate, which company has all the subscribers coming in at 16, and which ones at 13 or 14?

Since there are a relatively small number of speed options, it should be possible to notice these sorts of clusters in the data.

Also, how sensitive is a certain company's speeds to time of day? Whose average dips the most during peak viewing times?

It seems like even a little data analysis would go a long way here...

ihsw 4 hours ago 0 replies      
aaront 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder why Canada is never on this? Our ISPs deserve a little public humiliation.
penguindev 5 hours ago 4 replies      
hmm. comcast dropped from 2.17 to 1.63 mbps YOY. awesome.

luckily, speedtest.net shows me a lot higher than that... 25mbps, to be precise.

Edit: I see Netflix has tweaked their results to use 'Prime Time' readings only. I guess I should retest this evening as well.

ancarda 3 hours ago 3 replies      
I don't understand how this is measured. For instance Google Fiber is 3.69 Mbps. For a gigabit internet service, it seems fairly low.
shmerl 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Such low values for Google Fiber, Fios and Optimum are surprising.
jessaustin 5 hours ago 1 reply      
How is ClearWire considered "fixed"? Anyway it's not called that anymore.

I guess this info might be useful for public policy, but there's so much variability within a single provider that you wouldn't want to choose an ISP based on this alone.

c0nsumer 3 hours ago 0 replies      
My ISP, WOW!/WideOpenWest, isn't even there despite having a decent penetration. They are also great customer service-wise, etc. Oh well.
avis 4 hours ago 1 reply      
this seems more of a breakdown of the avg customer link speed/ isp than an isp performance chart.
geraldcombs 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Why no latency measurements?
Asm.js AOT compilation and startup performance mozilla.org
125 points by bzbarsky  9 hours ago   20 comments top 5
flohofwoe 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Author of the mentioned Nebula3 demos here. I must say it was extremely impressive to watch how quickly the AOT compilation time for asm.js code in Firefox was improved within only a couple of weeks. I think when I first tried to compile the demos to asm.js in a very early Odinmonkey build, Firefox froze for 10..15 seconds on start. Today it takes about half a second and everything is done asynchronously (no freeze or stuttering). This is especially impressive when looking at the time PNaCl currently requires when spinning up the demo for the first time (after that first compilation pass the result is cached though, and the next start is basically instant). Here's a bit more info on demos (lines of code, compiled binary size of various platforms, etc...): http://www.slideshare.net/andreweissflog3/gdce2013-cpp-onthe...
natural219 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I know very little about compilers, low-level optimization, or any of these topics beyond a rudimentary understanding of basic computer systems. It speaks volumes that Mozilla is able to explain some of these concepts in ways that I sort-of grasp, even if the specifics mostly go over my head.

Excellent, excellent article. I look forward to more improvements to asm.js and the future of Javascript. Maybe one day I will actually learn this shit.

Ygg2 7 hours ago 2 replies      
It's funny that time and time again MIT approach over Hacker approach fails. Worse is better so to say ;)

On a simply theoretical ground having LLVM in browser sounds like an amazing thing. It elegantly solves all the problems of using different languages in browser, having super optimization of native LLVM project, etc.

Then you look at Javascript. It was written in a week. It's a sloppy mess of Java, Self and Scheme merged into a single horrible entity. But It just works. And now it works fast :D

Good job Mozilla.

kibwen 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Regardless of how you feel about the political implications of asm.js, this is a fascinating technical article on the challenges of implementing a world-class Javascript interpreter.
jokoon 7 hours ago 0 replies      
It's funny that after all, native code is still what devs wants. Even on top of a super JS engine JIT I-don't-know-what.

There was a HTML browser, then a scripting language, and it seems it was the easiest, hackiest way to massively deploy native-fast software, and it's done through a browser.

WP Engine Raises $15M techcrunch.com
21 points by gmays  3 hours ago   3 comments top 2
benjaminwootton 2 hours ago 0 replies      
How is this for inspiration from back in 2010?


Congrats to Jason and the team. Very well deserved success.

newscloud 2 hours ago 1 reply      
WPEngine has an awesome affiliate program for bloggers $150 per customer - dwarfs other programs I've received...I wrote this up:http://jeffreifman.com/2013/12/20/top-affiliate-program-for-...
Why smiling in your passport photo is forbidden stackexchange.com
50 points by nsaparanoid  4 hours ago   47 comments top 17
dionidium 54 minutes ago 3 replies      
Is this a practical, answerable question based on an actual problem that you face? Are you deciding whether or not to do something based on answers to this question? It's an interesting question, but I don't see how it's in-scope for this stack exchange.

Tangent: Oh, good god. I guess I should be heartened that it's not just programmers who think this way. What a useless sentiment this is. Stackexchange is like a super smart scientist uncle who has this one weird blind spot for homeopathy or something. It's so frustrating to see this sort of comment over and over.

guelo 22 minutes ago 0 replies      
I used to be some kind of techno-optimist which is why I chose the software-based career path that I did. But now I'm realizing that governments and corporations are actually building The Matrix, and we are all getting plugged into it whether we want it or not.

I'm having a crisis of conscience. Even things like the open source movement end up contributing to dangerous bureaucracies that are efficiently attacking and destroying our freedoms. I fear for what will become of humanity over the next few decades.

ChuckMcM 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Back in the day when they just took the photo you gave them and laminated it into the passport, I wondered what would happen if you printed the picture using photo reactive ink.

I used to have as a sample some ink that would break down in ultraviolet light and become transparent. The use case was things like printable visitor badges that after 24 hours of exposure to light would say "VOID" on them. Basically they had the word VOID on them, then white photosensitive ink was put over it, and the badge printer printed on top of that ink.

So my question was if you created two photos, and then printed over one with another, then after a while the picture in your passport would be different.

The challenge I never figured out was you could get this ink in black, or white, but I wasn't sure you could make a black and white print blending the inks that would pass muster. It would have to be opaque enough to cover the picture behind it.

Sadly I had to file that idea under "probably won't ever be able to know one way or another." but it might make for an interesting plot mechanism if I get around to writing a thriller.

Nanzikambe 3 hours ago 2 replies      
The reasoning is dumb, and the concept easily subject to abuse.

If you're good at contorting your face for an extended period of time, including whilst you speak, do so for your passport photograph. Think Mr Bean or EmotionEric / http://emotioneric.com

Why would you do this?

Well I did this for my passport for several reasons, foremost being I detest the idea of facial recognition, it's an invasion of my privacy and my right to digital anonymity. For the same reason I don't have a facebook page, ask friends never to tag me in images and generally avoid photographs. Secondly because passports are archaic hangovers for an era long gone. When I travel (and I do so a fair amount) I only need my ID card to do so and mine uses a picture of me, so old and of such bad quality it's practically useless.

It's a small amusement, and when I've actually needed to use the passport, I've yet to meet a passport officer or customs officer who will actually ask "Do you really look like that all the time?" or crack up laughing. But I'm keeping hope alive.

mrt0mat0 3 hours ago 3 replies      
So, if I smile while committing a crime, facial recognition software won't be able to identify me. Got it, Thanks!
rachelbythebay 27 minutes ago 0 replies      

Also travelhacker and travelstacker. Probably more.

Tagged URLs. See the /101?

TrainedMonkey 3 hours ago 0 replies      
TL:DR - Apparently, one of the reasons for it is so facial recognition software works better, other constraints are defined in ISO/IEC 19794.
diminoten 2 hours ago 4 replies      
Is anyone unsatisfied with the "it helps with facial recognition software" response?

What part of facial recognition relies on the lack of a smile? I was hoping that would get explained here, and am disappointed that it wasn't.

I think everyone assumes it's for facial recognition...

loup-vaillant 20 minutes ago 0 replies      
> 1.9. Coverings, hair, headdress, hats, scarfs, head bands, bandanas or facial ornamentation which obscure the face, are not permitted (except for religious [] reasons).

I can't wait for someone to abuse this. I hear some tattoos tend to disrupt facial recognition

TacticalCoder 34 minutes ago 0 replies      
Is it just me or is the top voted answer not an answer?

Q: "Why should cows be colored in blue?"

A: Because document ZOIU-123497 says cows should be colored in blue.

alanbailward 57 minutes ago 0 replies      
I can't answer this on the site, but my boss claims that he was partially responsible for this. He worked with the company doing facial recognition software to hunting down kiddie porn makers, which was (I think) moved into terrorism detection (this is in the 2001-2002 timeframe). They couldn't get the facial recognition to work with enough accuracy with anything but a blank facial expression.
mandeepj 1 hour ago 0 replies      
You will not be smiling when you are getting interrogated at the airport security so to match your face 100% with your passport photo they don't want you to smile :-)
dzhiurgis 2 hours ago 0 replies      
So if I smile daily and everywhere my face would be more difficult to recognise and track?
martingordon 1 hour ago 0 replies      
FWIW, I am smiling on my US passport issued in 2005 and haven't had any issues.
bonemachine 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Because they don't everyone to know how happy you were the day you knew that, soon enough, you'd be leaving.
Stal3r 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This was in the news when it was announced that you couldn't smile in ID photos. I thought it was common knowledge.
hydralist 3 hours ago 1 reply      
tl;dr anyone?
Mother sen.se
69 points by rkrkrk21  3 hours ago   81 comments top 33
nostromo 2 hours ago 5 replies      
Wait, is this real? It seems like commentary on the current zeitgeist, not a real product.

> Mother. Mother knows everything.

> She's like a mom, only better.

> Sense: the meaning of life

edit: I see they are based in France, so perhaps the branding didn't translate well.

michaelwww 2 hours ago 3 replies      
First I've heard of it, but I had the same reaction as Cringley. Maybe it's an age thing.

"Imagine v1 of Big Brother's -- or NSA director Keith Alexander's -- most inflamed fever dream: a sensorbot shaped like a Russian nesting doll wearing a Hindi-cow smile. Then terrifyingly name it "Mother" and build it specifically to monitor as many facets of your personal life as it can. Are you schvitzing yet?"


cromwellian 2 hours ago 1 reply      
The way the thing is filmed with the smiley face and lighting up eyes, I could easily imagine a sci-fi horror film being based around it. :)

More seriously, the idea of using cheap motion trackers to track usage of things in the home is very interesting.

When Google acquires this, it'll make the Nest complaints pale in comparison. :)

devindotcom 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I played with this at CES. The "mother" bot is basically just a router. The little things only sense motion, and when I asked the lady said they had no plans to add any other types of sensitivity - temperature, moisture, light, current, etc. Compared with the other 'internet of things' kits out there battling for visibility, this one doesn't seem original or more useful, only visually striking. The tags are also pretty big for what they do. A useful thing for $50 maybe to buy once, but really doesn't seem like a worthwhile 'ecosystem' to buy into in any big way.

Also, I was unhappy to learn upon close inspection that the face is a sticker.

vertex-four 2 hours ago 2 replies      
As a young person who wants to remember to take her pills, to cut down on her soda consumption, to track how much she exercises (and maybe turn it into a game of walking further every week), and no doubt some more that I can't think of right now, this product sounds like it'd be amazing.

The video is a brilliant marketing asset. It showed me some very real problems of mine, and how it could help me solve them (by tracking things that I want to, and gamifying them).

The only issue is cost. As a young, single person, 166 is prohibitively expensive. It's likely not worth it for me. Is it worth it for people with families and kids? If they had 166 to spend, could they find something more pressing to spend it on?

CodeMage 2 hours ago 3 replies      
That was a really poor choice of a name. It took me less than 10 seconds to start hearing Pink Floyd's "Mother" [1] in my head. Once that started happening, I just couldn't stay objective while looking at the pitch.

[1]: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0HrrR9QDQU

cracell 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Cool product but very creepy branding. Might be ok to keep the name Mother but shouldn't be emphasizing it as a "mother" on the site at all.
MartinCron 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Just yesterday I posted a quasi-luddite rant about how these smart devices and services are infantalizing.

And now they're naming one Mother? I can't tell if I should feel vindicated or offended.

gjm11 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This is the single creepiest thing I have seen in the last month.
buro9 2 hours ago 1 reply      
The sync module reminds me of the Nabaztag ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nabaztag ) and I wondered whether Mother was going to have signals and indicators so that you didn't have to use a mobile device for insight.
dmazin 2 hours ago 1 reply      
God, the future is so fucking weird.
Jun8 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Same French company that created the successful Nabaztag rabbit and then couldn't cope with the traffic. I had my wife buy me one of those for Valentines Day (stupid, I know) and after trying to do something useful with it and getting frustrated I tossed it somewhere in my cube where it remains to this date.

Apart from the super bad naming and Branding, this is another reason for me to stay away from this mother rabbit.

woofyman 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It may be an age thing, but it find it creepy and useless. I haven't needed a Mom since I left home at 18.
ameswarb 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Their tagline "Mother knows everything" is terrifying.
anonu 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I think this is really cool and definitely brings us closer to the Internet of Things. I don't think I would have anthropomorphized the system by calling it "Mother" and putting an eerie LED smiley face on the base station.

I can't seem to find any technical info on the "cookies". Are they similar to the technology in the Fitbit Flex, ie Bluetooth Smart coupled with some sort of accelerometer. If that's the case, do the cookies need to be charged every week. This remains the single massive downside to widespread adoption of such devices.

pnathan 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Like other people: it's an interesting idea, but the branding is dystopian.
nilkn 2 hours ago 1 reply      
> we reinvented mothers

> Mother knows everything (in red text at that)

> She's like a mom, only better

The branding of this is either creepy or crazy. Maybe it's a bit of both. But I'm certainly not going to forget it, and the idea itself seems pretty interesting.

state 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I like how open-ended this thing is. I wonder if the market is actually ready to move beyond domain-specific sensor hardware and in to something broader. The aesthetic isn't quite my taste, but I'm very curious to see how their users react.
dictum 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Mothers watch their sons out of love and genuine care for their wellbeing. Mine did a bad a job and that's why my next sentence will be bitter:

If a company wants to make me use a telescreen, they might as well make it a suppository.

jds375 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Seems like a pretty cool product. They have an amazing design and a beautifully done website too. Only thing I am a bit concerned about is the price. It costs 222 USD for a base unit and 4 cookies (sensors).Here's a video from CES2014 about it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=024OPHSgOqo
xianshou 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Who knows you better than your mom?

From this marketing, I'd answer...Big Brother.

Yetanfou 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Apart from all the other emotions which this plastic big sister evokes, I wonder what it is that makes so many of these startups reach back to the crib when it comes to branding their products. From this bastardized matryoshka doll through Snapchat's Miffy-like ghost to Twitter's tweety to just about half the iconography on tablets and smartphones, they all have one thing in common: the more infantile the logo and/or branding, the better it is. Is this idiocracy at work or are they all following some celebrity psychomarketeer's edict about successful marketing to the attention-span deficient generation?
rglover 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Will it send me a notification that says "don't disappoint mother" if I forget to do something?
jnardiello 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Beside the branding thing, i've lost my fitbit one in less than 2 weeks. How long till i lose one of the cookies? Dongles are not for me.
dennisz 2 hours ago 0 replies      
If you scroll down far enough, you get to the 'technical details', where the device is described as 'a white mother'. I just found that funny, haha.
forgotprevpass 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Does anyone know how the signals are being sent from the cookie to Mother? The company mentioned in a CES video that they werent using the traditional bluetooth, wifi, etc.
themoonbus 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I was hoping for news about an Earthbound sequel, and instead I got this weird little smiling pod.
lcasela 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The son could have easily tricked the sensor.
EdZachary4 1 hour ago 0 replies      
They need the companion "Father - Common sense" to tell you not to waste your money on nonsense like this.
pyrocat 1 hour ago 0 replies      
michaelrhansen 1 hour ago 0 replies      
makes me want to go bowling
diu_9_commerce 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Bad name - I hate the fact that mother knows everything.
meandyounowhere 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Concept is stupid as FK. Why you need sensors just to know some basic stuff such as taking pills, tracking health etc. You can use app also. All they are doing is using sensor( motion sensors in particular) and send message to your phone. So why would I spend $222 for something where I could just it with $10 reminder app ?
Georgia Tech Researchers Reveal Phrases that Pay on Kickstarter gatech.edu
95 points by nkvl  9 hours ago   17 comments top 9
minimax 6 hours ago 0 replies      
The phrase at the top of the list for phrases signaling that the project won't be funded is "pledged" but the 3rd, 4th and 5th ranked phrases signaling that the project will be funded are "has pledged", "pledged will", and "pledged and". How are you supposed to interpret those seemingly conflicting results?

Another fishy thing is that the top of the list for phrases signaling that the project will be funded is the phrase "project will be". It's fishy because whenever you meet your funding goal, Kickstarter puts a blurb on your page saying "This project will be funded on <deadline>". It makes me wonder whether their scraper accidentally picked up some text that was not part of the user created promotional text.


Edit: One more thing. I would be much more convinced of the model accuracy if they had tested it on provably out of sample data. I.e. Take their model as it stands today and use it to generate a prediction for the next 1000 campaigns posted to Kickstarter. Compare the prediction results to the actual outcomes and post the results.

themodelplumber 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Man, tough read, having been away from academia! I tried to write up what would be, according to the paper, pretty much the most effective Kickstarter pitch ever:

"We are domain experts on Christina Aguilera, and we've teamed up with one of the top production teams to shoot a full documentary WITH her participation!!! We're so excited!!!

Everyone who has pledged will get our incredible supporter rewards package. In addition, when you sign up at level 2, we'll mention your name in the credits and you'll receive two VIP tickets to our premiere. That's right--you'll be able to hang out with tons of top industry experts and performers! We have spared no expense and our friends in the industry are excited to see the result. This option won't last long (expires on February 1) so grab the chance to lock in these extra goodies while you have the opportunity. All that plus the good old-fashioned karma you'll receive by being a supporter.

We've also learned that a wave of people from website X just pledged. This is so incredibly humbling and awesome! Your pledges will go a long way toward enhancing the creative potential of people everywhere. Thanks also for your support and encouragement on Twitter, Facebook, and every other social network where we have a presence.

I'm off to feed my cat and tell him the good news. Thanks again everybody!"

wikwocket 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This seems like a really cool idea, but I'm not sure if the results are meaningful, and I'm very doubtful that any of the results are actionable. Reading the actual paper, all of the phrases are just 2-3 words, and most are extremely generic phrases. ("used in a", "all supporters", "pledged", "information at", etc)

These phrases may have predictive power due to some broad trends in language, but I don't see how to extract meaning or intuition from the lists of top 100 positive and negative words. Perhaps I just lack an understanding of the statistics though.

taeric 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Just glancing, I'm not sure anything new was learned here. Seems to just confirm what sales types have known for a while.
nathancahill 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Markov chain seeded with the positive phrases:

Fall locations it goes well striving to the builds. If you want one thing: her new crown. Realize the card quarterly, make sure your host will likely school. Free access completing the offer of this new room and achieve their win. Showing the hard work, serious about playing with the builds.

And negative phrases:

For kids, know you mission is meeting pearl. You select a panels way of life at the eyes of the ancient and seem like digging. Make up akin to a thousand dollar professional. To get great, expand and extremely this option a broaden to feeling that stands. Needs a crowd and makes a broaden to come see explored ears. Items that college students and write using some much closer.

danso 7 hours ago 1 reply      
OK, so I'm betraying my ignorance of statistics here...but aren't there just too many other variables that far outweigh the one studied here, and despite attempts to control for them...aren't easily quantified?

The actual product, for one thing. How do the researchers quantify the real world (or hyped) appeal of Pebble and Ninja Baseball? Do they look at the respective markets for such products? Such a factor seems to so far outweigh a textual description that it almost seem a low ROI to spend an inordinate time on exact phrasing.

Edit: OK I read the paper. Seems to be no or very little mention of inherent product qualities...thus, this study seems very limited, and missing the forest for the trees

mbesto 4 hours ago 0 replies      
So the research shows that good marketing works.
cordie 6 hours ago 0 replies      
So you're telling us that copywriting matters. Duh.
Poll: As a Founder, what is your salary?
125 points by robg  5 hours ago   126 comments top 41
ryguytilidie 4 hours ago 14 replies      
I was thinking about this recently and I had a bit of a question. People used to always ask "wow why do founders get so much equity and dish so little out to employees?" and the answer would always be "because the founders takes all the risk". In the last few companies I work for, none were profitable, all had founders making 150k+, and all took at least 1m from our rounds out for themselves. It made me wonder where this supposed risk comes from and why VCs don't seem to mind founders paying themselves so much?
buro9 4 hours ago 3 replies      
I don't mind sharing the details of mine.

Year one salary was 4,800 per year.

Year two salary is 12k.

London, UK based start-up, very little revenue (working with a few test customers, opening the doors very soon as we're quite far down the road on seeing the output of our tests).

I suspect the wage will stay at the 12k level until our active users pass 50k and the revenue passes break-even. At which point we want to raise money to fund growth, but the salaries will likely rise to help us focus on that growth (rather than how the hell we cover the credit card bill).

We are seed-funded and haven't yet gone for the A round.

eieio 4 hours ago 11 replies      
At this point a salary of 0 is easily in first place for the poll with around ~45% of the votes(116 votes out of 267).

I understand that many folks like to randomly vote on polls on HN: I remember several people explaining that they cast an incorrect vote on the last "how old are you" poll.

The fact that we have 267 votes in the first 45 minutes of this poll makes me more suspicious of the votes: I have a hard time believing that 5 founders per minute have read this poll and voted on it.

So I'm curious. Founders, how many of you truly take no salary? If you take no salary or close to no salary, how do you compensate? Is it via savings, tricky shenanigans where the business pays for things for you, or something else entirely?

paulirish 22 minutes ago 0 replies      
Visualization of the poll results: http://hnlike.com/hncharts/chart/?id=7059569

(and to compare, the TNW article's chart: http://cdn0.tnwcdn.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2014/01/... )

tptacek 4 hours ago 1 reply      
This isn't going to mean much: founder of what? A company that is only going to be lucrative if it has a major liquidity event in the future? Does the company have traction yet? How many employees at the company?
beat 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Zero, but zero revenue.

It will need to hit $100k once revenue can support it, for the sake of marital bliss. Worse, until there's revenue, I'm dayjobbing to make ends meet. I can live on savings for a while, but not pre-revenue.

abalone 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Here's a question: For those of you who are bootstrapping making <$25K or so and live in the U.S., what are you doing for health insurance now?

I just found out that in California at least, you will be shunted to Medi-Cal, i.e. the program for people living in poverty. (At least up until now it was.)

You do not have the option of getting a subsidy for private insurance if you qualify for Medi-Cal. It is not either/or. You need to exceed a minimum income threshold for that -- and they no longer look at assets/savings to calculate that, only your income.

So, if you want a doctor that only takes private insurance, you'd have to purchase it without a subsidy. And of course, the unsubsidized market price has shot way up now. (For my plan, it doubled.)

So... what are ya'll doing? Medi-Cal? Full-price private insurance? Uninsured and taking the penalty? Haven't thought about it yet?

OoTheNigerian 4 hours ago 0 replies      
perhaps it will be good to state profit/revenue rate and/or if it is funded and what stage.

This is not really clear cut to use and make your own decision.

lquist 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Bootstrapped pass-through entity.

Year 1 Salary: $100kYear 2 Salary: $600k-$1M (6 months in to Year 2. Estimated salary)

matthuggins 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I think this poll would have made more sense as a set of ranges instead. If I'm making $10k a year, would I answer $0 or ~$25,000/yr? The poll should have looked more like:

-> $0/yr

-> $1 - $25,000/yr

-> $25,001 - $50,000/yr

-> etc.

rexreed 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Whatever I can afford to pay myself based on the previous month's net income. The more net income, the more I pay myself.
toblender 4 hours ago 1 reply      
What really amazed me, was that CEO of our 10 Million a year income company was getting a salary of 0 dollars. He grew the thing form 0 dollars a year income to it's currently earning power too.

They repaid him from firing him from the job, although he is still on the board.

When I had coffee with him he seemed completely ok with it though... what a champ.

pmorici 1 hour ago 2 replies      
This poll isn't very useful. Given that you can't even get a cheap apartment for much less than $2,000 per month in SF I don't see how anyone could live on less than 36k per year in the bay area before taxes. There has to be more to these numbers perhaps they have a large stash of personal savings they are living off or a significant other with a good paying job.
ericnakagawa 44 minutes ago 0 replies      
Good story from today on founder salaries: http://thenextweb.com/insider/2014/01/14/salary-founder-favo...

I made $7k in 2012 while running simplehoney. (me and my cofounder paid ourselves minimum wage so we could keep 3 people on payroll and get a group rate for health insurance)

primitivesuave 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I run a bootstrapped education business, and was told by other bootstrappers that one should convert personal expenses into business expenses, like car payments (make your car a company car) and food (it's for the office, but sometimes certain employees take it home with them, wink wink). Then, pay yourself as little as possible to cover those impulsive purchases that we are all prone to, and focus on building the value of your company.

I later learned from a wise HN'er that you can also claim rent on your apartment as a business expense. Although I'd love to support social welfare and bureaucratic spending with my income taxes, I'd rather maximize how many jobs I can create for hardworking people with my business.

mightybyte 4 hours ago 0 replies      
One important thing to consider is the tax benefits available to founders that are not available to employees. If the founder has a home office, then at least part of their living expenses can be paid by the company as office expenses. This makes the founder's effective income much higher than the raw numbers would indicate.
jakejake 3 hours ago 0 replies      
It would probably be interesting to know what type of companies these are. I see the majority has voted $0 salary. Are these companies that have employees, office space, payroll, etc? Or are these projects that one or two friends are working on together to try to get off the ground?

I am not trying to discredit either situation, it's just that I see one situation as a company where nobody is making any money. The other situation would have staff who are getting a steady paycheck, but the CEO has chosen not to pay his/her self.

skadamat 4 hours ago 0 replies      
There needs to be more transparency / data around this to really reach any legitimate conclusions.

Salaries alone are only marginally useful, it's also important to know what stage the company is in (earlier the stage, less the salary, yes or no? Would love to test that b/c that's our intuition). Its also important to know what industry. How much fundraising vs # of employees, how does that ratio effect the CEO salary. Also, equity %. Do founders who make more get less equity than sweat equity CEO's who take no salary? So many questions!

tosser8398b9 2 hours ago 0 replies      
bootstrapped. "it's a long road, there's no turning back"

Year 1: 0 + working old job (150K annual) for 6 months

Year 2: 0 + 38K consulting

Year 3: $19,000

Year 4: $38,000


Year 9: $97,500

Year 10: $137,000

Year 11: $182,000

Year 12: $465,000

Year 13: $415,000

timc3 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The problem with just stating income is that it doesn't take into account living costs for where you are. For instance the cost of living in Sweden is very high, i.e. 500g loaf white bread is circa USD$2.69 and if you are on a budget you don't actually get to live cheaply as you can't get to the really cheap stores or take advantage of bulk buying.

Plus you are not taking into account the age/maturity of the company.

kapkapkap 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Is this for founders whose statup is their full time gig? Or for founders who also are still maintaining a full time job?

A salary of $0 is quite easy if your still making $150k from another job. If the startup is your only source of income...not so much

rplnt 4 hours ago 1 reply      
The choice of answers is very US-based. I'm not a founder, but I can see myself living on $10k quite easily if necessary. Before taxes.
Tyrant505 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Already, decidingly zero. Hires always tend to depreciate the work and risk a founder has goes through years up to investment and thereafter.
immad 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Would be more interesting to also know a) the funding that people received vs salary. b) the revenue people have vs salary.

Salary by itself doesn't really tell much.

dmtroyer 4 hours ago 3 replies      
someone should start a poll with the question "As a founder, what is your total yearly compensation?"
davidu 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The survey results indicate you are missing some higher-salaried choices. (200, 250, 300, 350+) would be my advice.
endlessvoid94 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Size and stage of the company is important and not accounted for here at all.
arikrak 4 hours ago 0 replies      
rcjordan 4 hours ago 0 replies      
ScottWhigham is correct, in my case it was 'gain' not salary. But the income averaged around 40-50k USD for years. I bootstrapped it with personal funds and keystrokes. (Sites started around 1994. Sold out 2011.).
erikpukinskis 1 hour ago 0 replies      
On average, about -$600/month.
wtvanhest 4 hours ago 0 replies      
It matters a lot whether they founded a rapid growth startup or a lifestyle business. The two should be completely separate polls.
mikeg8 4 hours ago 0 replies      
~$1,000 per month for each of three founders to cover our costs of living in Santiago, Chile.
sgarg26 2 hours ago 0 replies      
How did founder salary change with regards to level of funding, break even, and profitability?
pouzy 4 hours ago 0 replies      
0I even created a non profit to make sure that I can reinject everything in the business itself, without having to pay a lot of taxes.
ScottWhigham 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This assumes that, as a founder, I have a "salary". Most of the solo and LLC founder members here will not have a traditional salary - the business' profits are your personal "gains".
elwell 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Should have option for <$0
ceedan 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Salary w/o cost of living data is just a number.
casualobs 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Won't this form a normal distribution? There's no way of vetting if the people who voted actually are founders and if they make that much, right?
tomkinson 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Salary? ahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahaha. Funny stuff.
leoplct 4 hours ago 2 replies      
$ 400,000/year
rob-alarcon 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Principles for making things for the web github.com
22 points by watermel0n  3 hours ago   discuss
AMD Kaveri Review anandtech.com
55 points by amartya916  7 hours ago   11 comments top 4
georgeecollins 4 hours ago 3 replies      
This was a lot to read so I tried to find a quote that boiled it down:

"The reality is quite clear by now: AMD isn't going to solve its CPU performance issues with anything from the Bulldozer family. What we need is a replacement architecture, one that I suspect we'll get after Excavator concludes the line in 2015."

And from the last paragraph I took that it would be a good CPU for a budget gaming box.

pella 5 hours ago 0 replies      

"AMD launches Kaveri processors aimed at starting a computing revolution (venturebeat.com)"


zokier 5 hours ago 2 replies      
I found the review itself quite disappointing. Where are power consumption measurements? Where are comparable discrete-gpu+cpu comparisons? Dual-gpu results?
ScottWhigham 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I got a bit confused when he compared the Kaveri to the Intel. Not one of the charts had the Intel CPU even showing up. And at the end, the graphic compares the Kaveri A10-7860 to the i5-4670K whereas the charts were using the i7-4770R.
Requirements for DRM in HTML are confidential w3.org
522 points by duncan_bayne  23 hours ago   343 comments top 27
simonsarris 20 hours ago 17 replies      
I suppose that the title assertion is to be expected. DRM only works if you don't know how it works.


I'm not sure I see anything wrong with DRM per se (this could be my fever talking), there are probably good uses I'm too dim to think about, but I do think it's unnecessary as part of the HTML specification.

There's no industry or company that has switched to DRM-free content, that I know of, that has failed or suffered because of it:

* Music is largely available DRM-free now, thanks to Amazon's MP3 store (at the least, I'm sure there are others)

* For games, Steam makes it easy to avoid SecuROM Hell

* Despite DRM, all of Netflix's original series House of Cards was available on The Pirate Bay within hours of release. This doesn't seem to hurt Netflix's wish to create more content, or police it more heavy-handedly. (Maybe they would if they could)

For that matter, I think in the modern case every single time a business went DRM free it turned out OK. Isn't that right? In all modern cases, maybe after 2006-ish, DRM-free businesses were accompanied with an easy way to get the content online, and sales did not seem to suffer because at the end of the day piracy can appear (or be) shady and people (rightfully) don't trust shady websites, even The Pirate Bay with all of its popups.

I wish we had better numbers. I would like to see a real analysis on all the reasons people don't pirate and instead buy on Steam. I wish there was a good way to convince media businesses at large.

But I guess this is all water under the bridge, and I'm preaching to the choir.

Nursie 21 hours ago 5 replies      
Great. DRM. The best example of shooting yourself in the foot ever.

Give customers encrypted content and the keys, try to prevent them from freely using the two together, undermine copyright fair use and first sale doctrines as you go along.

Intended effect - No Piracy

Actual effect - Paying customers get crippled products, pirates carry on regardless

It's crazy. And the more they try to lock it down the worse their products become and the better piracy looks in comparison. Pirates don't only beat the legit industry on price, they beat them on quality and availability. How can the industry allow this to stand? Let alone continue down the same path with their fingers in their ears shouting LALALALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU!?!

andybak 15 hours ago 2 replies      
A key paragraph:

link: http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-restrictedmedia/2...

Well, as I say, the actual requirements that lead to the proposal of EMEwould be a start. This is how it looks to those who don't agree thatEME is a good fit with the Open Web:

- 'big content' has certain requirements relating to preventing users copying data streams

- they won't make those requirements public (as you've said, the agreements are confidential)

- their licensees propose a technical solution that is unacceptable to many others because it necessitates the use of non-user-modifiable client components

- all proposed alternatives (e.g. FOSS DRM, server-side watermarking, client-side watermarking, no DRM at all) are shot down as being either too expensive or inadequate to the (secret) requirements

In a normal software project, I'd take an apparently insoluble conflict(the requirement for non-user-modifiable client components) to mean thatwe have done a poor job of determining requirements.

Hence my request for either a real user to talk to (e.g. an MPAA rep) orthe actual requirements docs, which you've told me are confidential.

And that sets off my spidey-senses ... something is not quite righthere.

Daiz 17 hours ago 2 replies      
This should really be at the top of every HTML DRM discussion:

HTML DRM will not give you plugin-free or standardized playback. It will simply replace Flash/Silverlight with multiple custom and proprietary DRM black boxes that will likely have even worse cross-platform compatibility than the existing solutions. In other words, giving in to HTML DRM will only make the situation worse.

Some vendors will keep pushing for it, but at the very least we should not officially sanction what they are doing.

rlx0x 22 hours ago 4 replies      
This is all so ridiculous, rtmp for instance is as secure a DRM as its ever gonna get and that never stopped me from downloading a stream. Even things like HDMI/HDCP is broken beyond repair. And all of this should justify damaging the w3c reputation forever, what are they thinking?!

This whole concept of DRM is just idiotic, its enough if one guy breaks the DRM and releases it. Why should I even bother booting a propertary OS (windows) and buying a stream everytime I want to watch something if I can just download a release and watch it, and its not like they can do anything against that either.

Why should I bother and buy HDCP capable new hardware, bother with proprietary NSA-compliant US software I much rather buy the DVD, trash it and just download it in a open and free format (I don't even bother with ripping (and breaking CSS) anymore).

josteink 21 hours ago 2 replies      
Email the W3C. Tell them what you think of this bullshit (in reasonably polite manners).

I've done it. I've gotten a non-canned response.

But clearly they need more people at the gates bitching. This needs to be stopped.

ronaldx 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Why is W3C involved in this?

Not only does this create a lack of openness and transparency in the core of the web, but "big content" creators get to pass on the costs of DRM that nobody else benefits from, including to people who are not consuming their content.

Meanwhile, browser vendors will become uncompetitive - since nobody else can compete against a closed standard - and they become even more motivated to work against openness to maintain their existing oligarchy.

Could not be worse for the web.

belluchan 22 hours ago 5 replies      
Can't we just fork the w3? Start using Firefox and forget about these people. Oh I'm sorry your browser is a little slower, but at least it's not Google made.
duncan_bayne 23 hours ago 1 reply      
It's worth mentioning that the CEO of the W3C, Jeff Jaffe, is trying to rectify that:


drivingmenuts 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Since many are using Steam as an example of DRM - the important difference is that Steam is a free product, but is not open-source (though it can be used to distribute open-source). It is produced by a company as a means of distributing their products.

It is not even a valid comparison to the blinkard pig ignorance of the secret DRM requirements in HTML, which is an open standard.

I'd just like to know what dipshit at the W3 signed off on this.

girvo 23 hours ago 11 replies      
Sigh. Look, I'm okay with DRM, as long as it works on all my devices. EME won't, under linux, I guarantee the DRM Vendors won't bother releasing Linux binaries. That annoys me.
alexnking 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Maybe instead of getting everyone to adopt Silverlight, we could just make the web more like Silverlight. Like more closed and stuff, because movies!
dschleef 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Compliance rules for Microsoft Playready: http://www.microsoft.com/playready/licensing/compliance/

The encryption part of DRM systems is effectively the same as client-side SSL certificates with a secret SSL certificate. How well it's kept secret is defined in the compliance documents. This secret, plus a secure decoding and output path, are the engineering core of DRM systems.

Studios require "industry standard DRM" for movies and TV shows, with lesser requirements for SD. This effectively means "DRM backed by some entity with lots of money that we can sue if things go wrong". Studios approve each individual device that you serve to, usually with compliance targets at some particular future date for various existing loopholes.

Flash (Adobe Access) is somewhat different, and has an obfuscated method for generating the equivalent of a client cert, thus on laptops it's only rated for SD by most (all?) studios. Apparently studios don't care too much about people copying SD content.

Studios would theoretically approve watermarking DRM systems, but there are two major barriers: having a large (ahem, suable) company offering it, and some way to serve individualized media through a CDN. Neither seem likely. So nobody loses too much sleep about whether studios would actually approve watermarking.

Zigurd 22 hours ago 3 replies      
Why should DRM be part of a standard? Aren't plug-ins sufficient?
hbbio 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks like the W3C may have been the inspiration for Games of Thrones...

Seriously, if there are men and women of honor in this organization, they should stand up against any form of standardization for DRM. DRM can be a proprietary extension for the people who want it.

shmerl 20 hours ago 1 reply      
> So, the DRM vendors have solved the problem of creating solutions that meetstudio requirements and what we are trying to do with EME is provide aclean API to integrate these solutions with the HTML Media Element.

Which reads as: studios have nonsensical requirements, which are implemented and soon broken. And "we" (i.e. W3C) need to oblige this insanity for the sake of <...>.

Put your own reason, but I bet it won't be good.

alkonaut 16 hours ago 2 replies      
The only benefit I can see from standardizing something is that browser makers who want to claim to be compliant actually have to support it, so you won't end up in the flash/silverlight situation where some platforms don't support it.

But if a plugin framework is standardized, why settle for only DRM? Why not fix the whole crapfest that is plugin applications entirely? A standardized interface to a fast sandboxed virtual machine with good hardware support would be excellent. Currently there is javascript, ActiveX, flash, java applets, Silverlight, NaCl, WebGL and a number of others, each having their own benefits and drawbacks.

If I want to write a web based multi-threadced GPU accelerated webcam-using application that works on any compliant browser on any platform, what do I do? Isn't that what the next kind of web standards should be addressing?

duncan_bayne 14 hours ago 0 replies      
From the mailing list: "[with EME] ... the publisher will have the possibility of deciding which platforms may access their content."

That was from one of the proponents of EME, touting this as a good thing. The response from another list regular was excellent:

"In non-web-terms this is the publishers deciding on what brands of TV you're allowed to play their content."

That's where EME will take the Open Web. We need to oppose it, strongly, urgently.

mcot2 18 hours ago 2 replies      
If our end result is to see Netflix using HTML5 video on Desktop browsers, how do we get there from a technology and business point of view? Keep in mind that Netflix has content created and owned by the major studios. If any form of DRM is not the way, than what? How do we get to this end goal? Do we make streams 'free' to copy and rely more on the legal system for protection? We are all keen to slam DRM, but what is a viable alternative?
silveira 1 hour ago 0 replies      
pyalot2 17 hours ago 0 replies      
HTML-DRM, proudly building "solutions" to problems nobody has, by following requirements nobody knows about, to create a landscape of content nobody can play.

Way to go W3C, keep up the "good" work.

kevin_bauer 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I guess, the "another backdoor" proposal will go very well in Europe, where most citizens are just static about americas view on privacy and respect for constitutional rights. Way to go, maybe the W3C will finally get Europe and the rest of the "free" world to create their own web!
PavlovsCat 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Here are some thoughts by Cory Doctorow on web DRM. Spoiler: he's not a fan.


aquanext 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Can't we just boycott this entirely?
xyjztr 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Hey Guys, can somebody create a simple guide, FAQ or something similar for non-tech people to understand what is going on with HTML and DRM? It will help to spread the word.
jlebrech 16 hours ago 0 replies      
why can't they just build it in NaCl and leave the open standard alone.
dreamdu5t 21 hours ago 2 replies      
What's the problem? Don't support companies that distribute any DRM content. Standardizing DRM and propogating DRM aren't the same thing.
What salary does the founder of your favorite startup get? thenextweb.com
84 points by mikekulakov  7 hours ago   73 comments top 23
dangero 6 hours ago 8 replies      
I've always heard that a founder's salary should be the amount that allows the founder to focus on the business. The concept of a super low salary seems to be focused on the 20 something single crowd. I have a family to support, so I can't take a super small salary and eat Top Ramen. This may be a subtle way that older founders are discriminated against. The story I've heard from founders who have families is that they have a savings from a previous business that they are tapping into to make up the difference, or their spouse is carrying the majority of the family burden. Neither of these situations are mine and I'm sure I'm not the only one.
sudonim 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Here's data for Customer.io for comparison:

* Currently based in NYC

* Raised ~$700k.

* Both of us founders are each @ $80k and have been the same with the exception of a couple of months at minimum wage.

The goal with these salaries, was to be able to not think about money while working on the company. It kind of worked. 80k in NYC doesn't get you very far unless you're making huge lifestyle changes and not eating out with friends, or traveling for fun etc... I moved out of Manhattan to Brooklyn to save a bit on rent.

I'm planning to raise our salaries later in 2014 (don't tell John, it'll be a surprise).

For other examples, check out what Joel @ Buffer has shared about their salaries:


michaelochurch 6 hours ago 1 reply      
The lower the CEO salary, the more likely it is to succeed.

Sure, but this an obvious "correlation is not causation" situation and the reason for this is unpleasant.

If you're from a middle-class background, you have to take full salary because that's the only money you have to live on. If you're from an upper-class background, taking full salary hurts your relationship with investors, and will possibly hurt your bargaining position in future negotiations.

People from middle-class backgrounds cannot afford to pay themselves under $50,000 per year in San Francisco. As for the upper class, if they have trust funds, they can and probably will accept low salaries, just as there are publishing interns all over New York, making what would be poverty wages, and who live on their trust funds.

People from upper-class backgrounds are more likely to have the connections that will make their startups succeed.

That is the reason for the correlation. It's just another incidence of (unintended?) VC classism.

danielharan 6 hours ago 0 replies      
In practice we have found that if you only ask one question, ask that.

As most CEO salaries are low, the answer has very little information value. Adding numbers from that chart, ~8k / 11k founders surveyed were making do with less than 50k/yr.

Looking for the top 10% of businesses by asking a question that only discriminates against the bottom ~30% is better than nothing. Assuming this gave no false negatives, it would increase the investor's hit rate by ~43%.

Any lower than 50k and a founder is either independently wealthy, living a pauper lifestyle (and being stressed out instead of concentrating on their startup), or using an expense account. So the positives don't all mean the same thing. If you're independently wealthy because of a previous success, your odds are already much higher. A person stressed out about money however is likely to make really poor decisions.

petercooper 6 hours ago 3 replies      
I suspect many founders of profitable non VC funded startups have small salaries and instead "pay" themselves through dividends as it can have tax advantages which might color the value of such graphs. That said, I believe such companies aren't always considered "startups" around these parts for some reason but that can be hazy when it comes to other people's surveys.
Duhck 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This correlation is lost on me. Founders are entitled to make a living wage. In NYC being paid less than $50k would mean a few things: !) You have to live in squalor. 2) You have money from somewhere else to support the rest of your needs. 3) You use the business to pay for your expenses

I would like to see the size of the business as it relates to compensation. A single founder with no employees and no office space can make $50k/yr salary and live comfortably if their rent and expenses are on the business. Otherwise I am dumbfounded by how this works...

shaggy 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Somewhere along the line, this concept of a founder/CEO taking a tiny salary got worked into the way start-ups work. Should a founder be paying themselves a huge salary and living it up based on that? No. Should they be able to pay themselves a livable wage that doesn't mean they are spending their nest egg or making drastic cuts in how they live? Yes.

This article is lacking in one key area, which makes the argument valid or not. How much money these startups are making. With out that data, this is just another self fulfilling prophecy that the VCs and their followers can point to and say, see?

I'd be lumped into the older founder class and having a family to support I could not take a giant pay cut if I started a business. I save and manage my money carefully but I would pay myself the same salary I make now so that I could at least have the same level of money comfort I have now. Doing anything differently is simply stupid and a VC that is angry about it isn't someone you should do business with. It's a way they keep their power when at the end of the day the people with the idea that makes all the money should have the power. You want 10 or 20% of my company? Great, I'm going to pay myself what I'm worth. The minute people stop letting themselves be bullied by VCs is exactly when this kind of stupidity stops happening.

karangoeluw 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Before you jump to conclusions from this graph [1] about India, keep in mind that for most families, making $50k a year is a glory. You can live luxuriously, drive "high-end" car(s), but a moderately-large house in a couple years etc. You get the idea. I always hate it when they compare economies in $ for everyone.


dmtroyer 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Right. Keyword here being 'salary'. Most business owners pay themselves only enough of a reasonable salary to keep from getting audited and compensate themselves through other, technically non-salary, means, for tax purposes.
patrickg 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Very interesting! It's a pity they don't break down on the 0-50k part, as it is the biggest piece of pie in the charts.
callmeed 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Hmmm, I'm in the "Mature" product phase and $0 funding level. My salary is quite a bit higher than the averages in those 2 charts. Maybe I'm an anomaly.

Like dangero said, it's probably focused on 20-somethings. I've got a wife and 4 kids (no mortgage).

tonydiv 5 hours ago 0 replies      
What I wonder about is whether founders are paying rent. If you're making $60k in SF, but your rent is considered a company expense, you're in pretty good shape.
ojbyrne 3 hours ago 0 replies      
There seems to be a logic error here: "The CEOs salary sets a cap for everyone else." and then the rest of the article talks about "founders." CEOs and founders are not identical sets.
logfromblammo 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This talk of "salary" is misleading. Everyone must know by now that the smartest guys in the room get compensated by other means, if only because if you say the "s" word, the IRS hears it.

If your founder is only making $75k as salary in Silicon Valley, and he looks like he still eats and showers regularly, he's getting compensated in some other way as well. Who knows where it is coming from, but you're definitely not eligible for it as a mere salaried worker bee.

lettergram 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I would just like to mention that salaries are not very comparable across countries or even cities. The cost of living in silicon valley (San Francisco area) is twice as much as living in Chicago and several orders of magnitude greater than living in India.
johnpmayer 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder if there are similar statistics for NYC? I'd guess pretty similar to London.
zachallia 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This may be more interesting if it were split into startups that make money vs startups that don't / have funding or don't have funding.
iterable 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Salary should be low enough for the founder to feel like he needs to hustle, but not so low that he is desperate. His mental energy should be focussed on the business, not on whether he will have enough money to pay rent and eat this week.
winterchil 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I think there's a glitch with their pie charts. They have no founders for any region making a salary in the 125k-175k bucket. Possible, but unlikely.
szirka 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Generally, a start up founder should be more interested in growing the company's (his) equity as opposed to taking a paycheck. The paycheck should be for living expenses, IMHO.
fleitz 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Could it be that a founder who is making decent coin and in control of their life doesn't need to make $1B to be happy?

Also, isn't the founder generally the primary equity holder? If so how can equity holders and the founders interests be misaligned?

bjoernlasseh 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Thx for posting mikekulakov.
mindcrime 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Well... my favorite startup is Fogbeam Labs, and I get a salary of a whopping $0.00 / year. :-(
Fingers can detect nano-scale wrinkles even on a seemingly smooth surface sciencedaily.com
125 points by swombat  11 hours ago   39 comments top 11
ClementM 10 hours ago 4 replies      
The title is a bit misleading though. Though it would be real cool, saying we can detect molecule size pattern does not mean we could read Braille alphabet on molecule size dots.The eye can detect nanometer size patterns: we can make the difference between blue light ( radiation with a 400 nanometers wave length ) and red light ( radiation with a 800 nanometers wave length ). Does not mean we can see nanometer size objects. Bottom line, be careful talking about patterns ....
KiwiCoder 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Disney Research has done some interesting work on touch screens for the visually impaired.


One of the side benefits of this kind of tech -- for everyone, not just visually impaired -- is being able to experience otherwise untouchable objects (camera takes an image, you touch the screen instead of the object).

weinzierl 5 hours ago 1 reply      
My experience with machining fittings was that I could see a gap of 100 um and I could feel a step of as low as 10 um.This was also the limit of the machining and measurement equipment, so I don't know if I could have felt smaller steps.

Machining gave me a sense for dimensions in the micrometer range. I think of 1 um = 1000 nm = near infrared,visible light ends at 800 nm. It makes the phenomenon of light somehow tangible.

mdm_ 10 hours ago 3 replies      
In the article they talk about making sections of a smartphone's screen feel different (permanently, I assume), but would it be possible to have a type of glass where the texture of the glass can be changed quickly and repeatedly by applying some sort of magnetic/electrical field and an app could, for example, make your phone's glass feel like it has buttons, then you could switch to another app and it would feel like a different set of buttons? I'm obviously not an electrical engineer, but I'd be interested to hear more informed opinions.
qwerta 10 hours ago 2 replies      
"large molecule" is pretty misleading. DNA is single molecule and unrolled has length over 2 meters. Organic molecules are practically unlimited in their size.
hrkristian 11 hours ago 0 replies      
That's very interesting, considering our smallest nerve-cell -I believe- is about 4 m.

I'm disappointed the article doesn't mention the significance of age, or even the average age of the study.

hyperion2010 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This article is completely overstated. People have been measuring this for decades. Look up the work of Mountcastle or Bensmaia on somatosensation and vibrotaction. Most of what we perceive down at the nm scale is differences in frequency with which our skin vibrates when we run our finger across a surface, we even have the spikes from peripheral nerves that show the differences in textures.
cweathe2 9 hours ago 1 reply      
We all just ran our fingers over our desk/keyboard/pants.
runeb 9 hours ago 1 reply      
That is until you learn to play the guitar
gadders 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Can someone suggest a molecule I might of heard of that is 13nm in size?
Dropbox and Uber: Worth Billions, But Still Inches From Disaster wired.com
75 points by dkoch  8 hours ago   59 comments top 8
snowwrestler 6 hours ago 5 replies      
The ease with which customers can or will migrate from one service to another is greatly exaggerated by this article, and many many other articles like it.

Look at web search--it's no harder to type www.bing.com instead of www.google.com (it's actually 2 letters easier), and for most common searches, the results will be exactly the same. "What time does the Super Bowl start". "Facebook login".[1]

And yet, Bing has not significantly dented Google's web search market share despite $billions of investment in technology, advertising, incentive plans, etc.

> If Dropbox accidentally destroyed just one persons file, he said, it could erode the trust of all its users.

Ha! Dropbox destroys user files against the will of users all the time--it's inherent in the concept of a syncing service, and why we warn each other, "Dropbox is not a backup service."

And if you're thinking of just straight-up data corruption or loss, look at Evernote, which does that on a regular basis yet continues to grow.

There's nothing more to this story than the fundamental threats that face any business in any industry: if you fail to please your customers, you leave the door open for competitors. But, that doesn't mean there is no margin for error. Or even a small margin for error.

[1] http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2051199/Facebook-Login-...

john_b 2 hours ago 0 replies      
> If Dropbox accidentally destroyed just one persons file, he said, it could erode the trust of all its users. This is like the same sort of genre of problem as the code that you use to fly an airplane. Even if its a little bug, its a big problem.

As someone who writes code for jet engines, I find this perspective laughable. A better analogy would be if an automated baggage handling system lost your bag. You'd lose your stuff and the airline would lose your trust. You might rant about it on a blog and a few people would get upset and switch airlines with you. But nobody dies.

spodek 6 hours ago 4 replies      
Startups tend to be halfway between taking over the world and bankruptcy.

That's why we love them and founders sleep on floors.

rmc 5 hours ago 2 replies      
The ignorance and arrogance of Uber about the French union situtation is mindbogglying:

> This is also why Uber believes it cant compromise once it begins to offer its services in a new city, or a new country, like France. It strives to work with regulators to accommodate its existing service rather than changing how it works.

It's not the regulators/government that are a problem, it's the taxi unions. You're talking about a place with a very strong, and very long history of active union activity.

"We can't compromise on service". "Fine, we'll drag your drivers out of their cars and set the cars on fire. Your move."

primitive_type 6 hours ago 2 replies      
As a frequent Uber user in Chicago, I can attest to the fact that Uber often has no available rides for me when I need one. Just this past weekend at a rather busy intersection in Chicago, after requesting both an UberX and regular Uber taxi multiple times, I kept getting texts from Uber saying "we can't find an Uber for you at this time. Sorry for the inconvenience. Please try again soon!"

So the article's suggestion that "customers opening up the app and seeing no rides on the map" would be an existential threat to Uber is currently being proven wrong by Uber's success. That happens all the time and Uber is still doing alright.

adventured 4 hours ago 1 reply      
"Dropbox is not diversified"

How diversified was Google in its first ten years? Ads and desktop search overwhelmingly ruled. How diversified is Facebook? How diversified is Twitter? How diversified is Apple? (with the iPhone generating 75% of their profit)

This tends to apply to almost any big company in its formative years. They get big because they put all their wood behind a killer arrow that made all the rest possible. That's not to say Dropbox will have that future, but rather that criticizing them for not diversifying at this point is a low quality criticism.

adventured 3 hours ago 0 replies      
"Uber could make the recent complaints go away fairly quickly. It could drop surge pricing. And it could acquiesce and change its service in cities where government and industry have come out against it."

This is false. If Uber gives an inch, their competitors will go for the kill and move on to targeting the jugular. What they want is for Uber to not exist, and for there to be no new competitor or revolution in their business. There is no way to appease their competitors that results in Uber surviving as a useful service.

What Uber's competitors want is very simple: 1) they want to not have to compete with any innovation; 2) they do not want to have to change or improve their services; 3) they want no new, fast growing entrants allowed in their markets

Basically what they want is a frozen, guaranteed market with zero market forces. That's why their response is: violence, regulations, political leverage, etc (anything but innovation or actually competing with Uber).

caruber 7 hours ago 2 replies      
The real strength of Dropbox comes from the ecosystem of apps that use dropbox to store data. It is hard for newcomers to challenge that network effect. But competitors like Tonido are doing interesting stuff by focusing on the security, privacy and the private aspects of owning your own cloud. If they are able to change the narrative from utility to trust and security then newcomers have a fighting chance.

Finally it comes to what wins the customers: Trust or Utility or the Balanced of Both.

We're making visual feedback simpler. awesomebox.co
25 points by brendanib  2 hours ago   31 comments top 13
coherentpony 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Here's some visual feedback:

    Application Error        An error occurred in the application and your page could not be served. Please try again in a few moments.        If you are the application owner, check your logs for details.

toddmorey 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I don't think I quite understand what Awesomebox is. Is it packaged staging server with built in commenting functionality? What type of code can be pushed to it? Why is it that you push code your way rather than install a widget of some kind in existing staging environments?
primigenus 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Very cool! This is very very similar to the feedback and annotation feature I'm working on for our product. There's a clear need for this capability to comment (and draw) directly on the design. It just makes it so much easier to talk about something when you literally talk around it.

My inspiration for the feature was that feeling I always got that I needed to walk over to someone's desk and show them what I'm working on on my Macbook or paper and talk through it. Sometimes you can't do that if the team is remote or a client needs to check something out, so you need an approximation of that experience. Making a product around the feature is a great idea.

ultimatedelman 35 minutes ago 3 replies      
Tried to install, got an error, looked at the stack trace and saw this:

    at module.exports (C:\[snip]\npm\node_modules\awesomebox\node_modules\awesomebox-core\__trojan__\horse.js:15:10)
What. The. Fuck.

Could not possibly uninstall fast enough. Running antivirus ASAP

taitems 48 minutes ago 2 replies      
After using http://bugherd.com for a while, I find this uncomfortably close. The icon-based side nav, the drag selection, the overall colours and theming. I'm not making any accusations, but I think it needs to be said that it's the first thing I thought of.
ithayer 1 hour ago 0 replies      
It took me awhile to get, but my aha moment was understanding its relationship to regular PaaS's (eg: heroku).

What more could you do if you didn't need to deploy your entire stack with each little change you make? If you could only deploy your frontend (in different versions simultaneously) pointing to a backend that's always up, it enables much faster iteration: testing, bugfixing, demoing things that otherwise you might not deploy different versions for because it's too painful.

For example, you could A/B test meaningful portions of frontend code in a more scalable way than, say, Optimizely. Or you might point a user that's having problems to a specific build (which you can deploy instantly) and see if it fixes their problem _on their live account_. Or you can hack together a new feature that works _on a live account_ for a presentation, and push it without worrying about mucking up or interrupting production traffic. Or turn off minification instantly and deploy that.

Plus, you don't have to worry about refining internal frontend build scripts, it's plug and play.

rschmitty 43 minutes ago 1 reply      
What kind of pricing structure are you looking at?

Also Windows/FF gets an invalid font character for the "v" arrow on the grey tab. Works ok in Chrome/IE

More once inside the app: http://i.imgur.com/WFaLbjw.jpg

cwisecarver 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Your video is falling out of the laptop screen, to the right side, on an iPad air.
mbrzuzy 55 minutes ago 1 reply      
Looks like it's similar to, if not the same as www.designdrop.io.
destraynor 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Nice work guys, looks very useful
mikelbring 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Looks like it does the exact same thing http://notableapp.com/ does.
rafifyalda 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Why are you guys working past 1am? Get some sleep, feedback can wait in the morning!
__shurik__ 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Bro! I tried to sign up with Google and it looks like maybe just maybe your OAuth is broken! Dogfooding.
The case for an antibiotics tax washingtonpost.com
78 points by tpatke  10 hours ago   58 comments top 13
mekoka 8 hours ago 1 reply      
There was recently an interview posted here on HN about the end of antibiotics (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/health-science-techn...). In short, the interviewee Dr. Arjun Srinivasan was pleading for a serious conversation about what to do to further regulate their usage, because some bacteria are developing increased resistance to most, if not all, antibiotics available. What's stunning to me about all these articles is that, after all these alarms have been raised and as all the people responsible seem to be contemplating solutions to regulate antibiotic usage, nobody's mentioning alternative methods to fight bacteria. Following the afore mentioned article one commenter remarked that Dr. Srinivasan did a great job or spooking us, but there was absolutely no mention of bacteriophage during the interview, which got me curious. Turns out phage therapy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phage_therapy) has been used successfully for close to 100 years in Russia and Georgia. According to this Wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacteriophage

    Phages were discovered to be antibacterial agents and were used in Georgia and the United States during the 1920s and 1930s for treating bacterial infections. They had widespread use, including treatment of soldiers in the Red Army. However, they were abandoned for general use in the West for several reasons:        - Medical trials were carried out, but a basic lack of understanding of phages made these invalid.        - Phage therapy was seen as untrustworthy, because many of the trials were conducted on totally unrelated diseases such as allergies and viral infections.        - Antibiotics were discovered and marketed widely. They were easier to make, store and to prescribe.        - Former Soviet research continued, but publications were mainly in Russian or Georgian languages, and were unavailable internationally for many years.        - Clinical trials evaluating the antibacterial efficacy of bacteriophage preparations were conducted without proper controls and were methodologically incomplete preventing the formulation of important conclusions.    Their use has continued since the end of the Cold War in Georgia and elsewhere in Central and Eastern Europe.
In other words the reason why western countries stopped considering them, and to some extent continue to shun them, is lack of understanding.

I am wondering then, if we have to have these "serious conversations" about regulation of antibiotics for the sake of the threat posed by over-consumption, how serious can it really be if we have to wear blinders and continue to pretend that what the Russians and Georgians have been doing is utter sorcery?

jswinghammer 9 hours ago 5 replies      
The basic problem is that one intervention is seeking to fix another. Crop subsidies are the reason why these antibiotics are so widely used. Farmers are encouraged to feed animals food they aren't meant to eat which makes them so sick they need antibiotics to stay alive long enough to be slaughtered.

Just end those crop subsidies and let things take care of themselves. A few agribusinesses will be pissed but the rest of us will be much better off.

drjesusphd 10 hours ago 2 replies      
This is a great idea. The point of a tax is to impose penalties that exist in real life, but are not part of the original transaction: externalities. Widespread use of antibiotics has a cost associated with it that must be paid by someone, and it should be part of the price of antibiotics.

Much like there's a cost associated with income inequality, so we tax the rich more to supposedly cover that cost. Costs associate with pollution, greenhouse gases, moral hazard, etc. are all risks and costs that must be mitigated at the transaction level, otherwise the market fails.

alexeisadeski3 8 hours ago 2 replies      
My fellow libertarians:

Milton Friedman, freedomist gadfly, was in favor of government regulation to protect the population from contagion. The regulation and restriction of antibiotics falls firmly within even a minimalist state's purview.

In other words, the government has a clearer mandate to restrict antibiotic use than it has to restrict heroin use.

diego_moita 8 hours ago 1 reply      
But how do you fix antibiotics abuse in other countries? Antibiotic resistant bacteria are spreading a lot faster in Russia, Pakistan, India, South East Asia and Latin America. And with international tourism growing it is just a matter of time before it reaches everywhere in the world.
cleaver 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I've read that the most effective way for the state to control the public's behaviour is a combination of taxes and subsidies (sorry, don't recall the source). Simply tax bad behaviour and subsidize good behaviour. Other means are possible, but less efficient.

The user fee could work, depending on the scale... if it is possible to be small enough to not deter individual use, but large enough to deter mass use in agriculture, then it stands a chance.

As an aside, the common practice of municipal hotel taxes never made sense to me. Wouldn't a city wish to encourage people to visit?

ronaldx 10 hours ago 3 replies      
The primary use-case of antibiotics remains: curing bacterial illnesses.

We should not seek to increase the price of this for the least well-off in society.

This would potentially have a net negative effect as it allows bacterial infection to spread, requiring increased antibiotic use.

Besides, a tax on use wouldn't impact upon doctor's behaviour in the desired way (reduce non-essential use): since the doctor is still making a net profit from the prescription and it (still) acts as a convenient placebo.

jchrisa 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Or we could ban giving them to animals
ihsw 8 hours ago 3 replies      
> The agency is asking the makers of animal drugs to voluntarily alter their labels so that farmers can no longer buy antibiotics to promote animal growth (a fairly common practice).

I was under the impression that growth is secondary to supplementing the animal's immune system, especially since factory farms are terribly unsanitary.

JoeAltmaier 9 hours ago 3 replies      
Too little, too late. There was a CDC report that the 'age of antibiotics' is over and there is little point in limiting their use now. Lets move the conversation on to something productive: what next?
dllthomas 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I think this is clearly a good idea. Tax antibiotics, use the revenues to help subsidize development of future antibiotics.
esteb_li 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I feel that the problems we face with antibiotics is similar to those we face with oil. It's common knowledge that the two will disappear and there's people out there fighting to try to protect us and we have a silent majority going about their business and ignoring all the warning signs. So yeah, tax 'em
squozzer 9 hours ago 0 replies      
You would think we'd learn by now that when someone proposes a tax to control behavior, it's not about the behavior, it's about finding a justification to grab money. For example, the soda tax.

Why not treat them as controlled substances? All you need is a propaganda campaign a la Barry Bonds, et al.

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